Most Quebecers believe first wave of COVID-19 is over, polls finds

A client shops through a plexiglass shield at Montreal's Jean Talon Market, on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

A new online survey suggests that Quebecers are the most likely in Canada to believe the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is over, despite having the highest caseload in the country by far.

The poll conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies showed that 54 per cent of Quebecers surveyed believe the first wave is over, compared to 47 per cent in British Columbia, 41 per cent in Ontario and 39 per cent in Atlantic Canada.

Quebecers were also the least likely to believe there will be a second wave of the virus, at 67 per cent, compared to 78 per cent in Ontario and 80 per cent in Atlantic Canada.

The survey comes as Quebec reports 42 additional deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, for a total of 5,340.

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Authorities say 11 of the newly reported deaths occurred in the past 24 hours, while 31 occurred before June 10.

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The province is also reporting 120 new cases of COVID-19 since Wednesday, for a total of 54,383.

There are now 637 people hospitalized in the province with COVID-19, down 53 from the previous day.

Of those, 65 patients are in intensive care, a reduction of seven.

Quebec says 22,754 cases are considered recovered.

Jack Jedwab of the Association for Canadian Studies said surveys throughout the pandemic have shown that Quebecers — and francophones in particular — have consistently shown lower levels of anxiety when it comes to the virus.

He said the provincial government’s positive messaging surrounding COVID-19 may have worked to lessen Quebecers’ fears, but could also reduce some people’s vigilance as the economy reopens.

The web survey was conducted online between June 12 and 14 and involved 1,527 Canadians and 1,004 Americans. In accordance with polling industry standards, online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error.

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