As health officials issue pleas to the public to avoid gatherings and stick close to home to curb the spread of COVID-19, at least three-in-10 Canadians still aren’t getting the message.. (Aaron Hinks photo)

3-in-10 Canadians admit they aren’t practicing social distancing amid COVID-19: poll

Lack of listening to advice of health officials come as Canada sees 1,300 novel coronavirus cases

As health officials issue pleas to the public to avoid gatherings and stick close to home to curb the spread of COVID-19, at least three-in-ten Canadians still aren’t getting the message.

While more than seven-in-ten Canadians are resigned to a worsening situation on account of the ongoing pandemic, some believe specific activities that could spread the virus are still sensible at this time, according to a Research Co. poll.

As of Saturday, March 21, there were 1,331 confirmed cases in Canada and 19 deaths. Roughly 72 per cent of poll respondents said the worst is “definitely” or “probably” still on its way.

Over the past two weeks, health authorities and governments of all levels have urged Canadians to abide by social distancing guidelines and increase the physical space between people to avoid spreading the illness – of at least two metres.

Other recommendations include working from home if possible, staying home when feeling sick and avoiding in-person visits to loved ones, especially the elderly or those who are immunocompromised and run a greater risk off seeing adverse effects from the disease.

READ MORE: Abbotsford, Surrey weddings cause concern that social-distancing rules not being followed

But despite the repeated advice, more than one-in-five respondents said they believe visiting elderly relatives, such as parents or grandparents, is “reasonable” at this time—including 28 per cent of those aged 18-to-34, 26 per cent of men and 27 per cent of Ontarians.

Three-in-ten Canadians think it is “reasonable” to hold a gathering of 10 people or fewer at this time.

“Toronto’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, stated on March 18 that having people over for dinner or coffee is not social distancing,” said Mario Canseco, President of Research Co., in a news release on Saturday, March 21.

Yet 41 per cent of respondents aged 18-to-34, 38 per cent of those polled from Alberta and 34 per cent of male respodents believe this is reasonable behaviour.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has recommended people spend time with only their immediate family or those they live with and avoid crowds in public. B.C. has banned gatherings larger than 50, while also closing restaurants to dine-in guests and banning bars and nightclubs from operating.

Across the country, 82 per cent referred to the COVID-19 outbreak as a “major crisis”, including 85 per cent of women, 85 per cent of Quebecers and 92 per cent of respondents from Atlantic Canada.

Meanwhile, 13 per cent said they believe the outbreak represents a “minor crisis”, while only 3 per cent said believe it is “not a crisis at all.”

COVID-19 in Canada
Infogram


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

School district digs in on instruction resumption

Senior official calls the process a “marathon”

Terrace dental clinic say no staff experiencing COVID-19 symptoms 22 days after dental conference

Five members of the office attended the Pacific Dental Conference from March 5-7

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

City of Terrace calling on Province to take stricter social distancing measures

The City sent the Province a letter earlier this month with a number of recommendations

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Crucial details of Ottawa’s proposed wage subsidy program expected today

The government has rolled out a bailout package totalling more than $200 billion

World COVID-19 morning update: Olympics delayed one year; 12,000 health care workers infected

Comprehensive world news update: Lockdown in UK showing signs of hope

Newspapers are safe to touch, World Health Organization confirms

Just make sure to wash your hands as you would after touching any surface or object

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

Most Read