U-M, State of Michigan Surveying Coronavirus Survivors to Inform Future Response to Pandemic

Illustration of Michigan on a map

New research from Nancy Fleischer

Associate Professor of Epidemiology

Researchers with the University of Michigan School of Public Health and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are reaching out to adults with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 to collect information they hope will inform future response efforts to the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

Those participating in the Michigan COVID-19 Recovery Surveillance Study will choose between filling out an online survey or being interviewed about their personal experiences with the illness and how the pandemic has affected their lives.

"We know that the pandemic is much more than just an illness," said lead investigator Nancy Fleischer, associate professor of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. "It has caused a massive economic shift as well, and so we're also asking about things that happened in terms of not just the people diagnosed with COVID-19, but also their families, and if they have experienced job loss, had problems paying rent or had a harder time feeding their families.

"We are interested in understanding people's experiences with access to testing and care, with their course of illness and other obstacles that they've encountered, as well as the stresses that have come about because of the pandemic such as mental health issues, access to food and housing or employment loss.

The goal of the survey is to understand experiences of COVID-19 in Michigan focusing on health equity and to provide the state of Michigan with information so it can be better prepared for future public health crises, including future potential waves of the virus.

"By participating in this survey, Michiganders will be assisting public health officials with surveillance activities," said Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at the MDHHS. "The pandemic has taken a toll on our state in many ways and gathering this information could help us better prepare to respond to possible future outbreaks."

People who were confirmed to have COVID-19 and selected to participate in the survey will be sent a letter explaining the study and how they can participate. Additional volunteers are not being sought at this time.