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

New Haislakala Language Revitalization Program aims to preserve and revitalize Haisla language

Haisla elders will be recorded speaking in Haislakala, with hopes of collecting 12,000-17,000 words.

“We’re not busting ghosts”: local paranormal investigators check out PF Bistro

Paranormal North Coast British Columbia recently checked out PF Bistro at City Centre Mall.

“Bears that test the limits”: Kitimat sees higher number of bears than average year

Bears aren’t necessarily more assertive this year, there’s just a higher number than average.

Search and Rescue and RCMP investigate after abandoned kayak found on Kitimat River

KSAR and Kitimat RCMP confirmed the owner lost the recently-discovered kayak a couple of weeks ago.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Study suggests 8 times more people in B.C. infected with virus than confirmed

The study looked at anonymous blood samples collected for reasons unrelated to COVID-19

Russian hackers seeking to steal COVID-19 vaccine data: intel agencies

It is believed APT29, also known as ‘the Dukes’ or ‘Cozy Bear’ was responsible

B.C. announces funding to support post-secondary students with disabilities

The province is investing $275,000 in the new BCcampus website

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Northern Indigenous cannabis cultivation facility to supply over 60 private B.C. stores

Construction to soon resume on Nations Cannabis in Burns Lake

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Most Read