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

Giants Head Grind postponed

Uphill race in Summerland will not proceed due to COVID-19 pandemic

Stranded Osoyoos snowmobilers spend night on Mount Baldy

The two men were recused by about 9 a.m. on April 6

COVID-19: More infected passengers on planes flying to and from Okanagan and Kamloops airports

The BC Centre of Disease Control has identified numerous flights with COVID-19 cases

Land once belonged to Grand Chief Nicola

Summerland was once known as Nicola Prairie

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

WATCH: Kelowna songwriters release health care workers video tribute

The couple recently asked for selfies from frontline workers to include in the music video

Kelowna RCMP seizes guns, illicit drugs following disturbance

RCMP seized three firearms and a variety of suspected illicit and prescription drugs

Salmon Arm Silverbacks remember Humboldt Broncos on anniversary of fatal crash

Sixteen people killed, 13 injured after semi collided with team bus on April 6, 2018

West Kelowna birthday parades cancelled, Easter drive-by egg hunt still on

West K Party Parades made the decision to keep community safe

Man who allegedly spit on Kelowna cop facing assault charges

‘Spitting on anyone is always a serious assault but to do so in this current pandemic is particularly unacceptable’

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Proximity to border becoming a concern: Osoyoos mayor

Osoyoos residents are concerned about people not quarantining after returning from the U.S.

CMHA branch offers connection tips during pandemic

How to stay connected with family and friends during these unprecedented times

Most Read