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Los Angeles County is launching Angelenos in Action, a text-based public health survey to monitor COVID-19 spread, officials announced Thursday.

The weekly survey will provide information to help public health workers track COVID-19 symptoms in an effort to prioritize a response and better allocate resources to highly impacted communities, according to the county’s Department of Public Health. The data will also allow for trends to become apparent in how COVID-19 impacts specific communities and geographic areas.

“Information is completely confidential and won’t be shared,” L.A. County Health Officer Muntu Davis said in a Thursday briefing. “We’ve never done text message-based surveillance, but we want to reach our residents as conveniently as possible.”

So far, 8,300 people have signed up for the voluntary survey, which is available in English and Spanish, Davis said.

The initial questions will ask you for your age group, sex, race/ethnicity, and ZIP code. The weekly texts will ask how you are feeling that day. If you are unwell, you will be asked if you have experienced specific symptoms that could be due to COVID-19.

The survey, which will be sent out every week for at least 20 weeks, will not ask for your name or any other identifying information. Survey takers may skip any questions they do not feel comfortable answering.

To sign up:

  1. Text “@PROTECT” to 35134 to volunteer for our survey or visit the website to sign up online
  2. Answer 5 quick questions to sign up
  3. You will be randomized to one day a week to receive texts
  4. Every week on that day, the L.A. County Department of Public Health will text you one YES/NO question to ask how you’re feeling
  5. If you feel unwell, you will receive two more YES/NO questions about COVID-19-like symptoms

In another bid to survey resident about COVID-19, the public health department announced last week that it would offer $20 gift cards for full participation in contact tracing interviews to residents infected with coronavirus. Less than 50% of L.A. County residents with the virus had previously provided contact tracers with information on people they had close contact with.

As of Wednesday, the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the county had climbed to 183,383 with 4,516 deaths.