Vancouver Island University. (News Bulletin file photo)

VIU faculty members looking at COVID-19 impacts on communities

Vancouver Island University’s research award committee funds nine projects

VIU faculty members are interested in examining the impacts of COVID-19 beyond its effects on the spring semester of classes.

Vancouver Island University’s research award committee has funded nine research projects related to the novel coronavirus, the institution announced in a press release this week.

VIU recognized the need for immediate research to gain a better understanding of public health and social impacts, said the release, and researchers were invited to address a range of studies.

RELATED: Royal Roads launches research institute to study global crises, such as pandemic

“The response that VIU received for this special call demonstrates the commitment of our faculty to apply their research skills to address the far-reaching impact of COVID-19 in society,” said Nicole Vaugeois, VIU’s associate vice-president of scholarship, research and creative activity, in the release. “We look forward to learning what these researchers discover and sharing those insights with others.”

Alana Devereaux, one of the successful funding applicants, will examine the experiences of acute-care registered nurses during the pandemic. She said in the release that RNs, as the largest body of health-care professionals, are significantly impacted by pandemics but there is little research about RNs working on the front lines during these types of crises.

Devereaux will interview RNs about professional and personal experiences while working front-line during COVID-19 and try to identify best practices to protect health-care workers during future pandemics.

Michael Lait, another researcher approved for funding, will survey people in Nanaimo, the Cowichan Valley and Powell River about how their quality-of-life and housing situations and long-term goals have been affected by the pandemic.

READ ALSO: UVic research team creating virus-resistant washbasins for post-pandemic world

Other VIU researchers approved for funding include: Dana McFarland, Marian Riedel, Marla Morden, Shannon Dames, Lauren Mayes, Aggie Weighill and Gillian Anderson.

The university’s research award committee funded nine projects for a total of $40,782.

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