A new survey by Leger suggests many Canadians decided to skirt COVID-19 lockdown restrictions to visit family and friends over the holidays.
According to data collected from 1,500 Canadians across the country, 48 per cent say they did not exclusively stay home over the past couple of weeks.
“Public health officials and governments were really hammering home the message, ‘try to stay home,’ and I think for good reasons,” said Andrew Enns with Leger.
“They knew it was going to be hard for Canadians, and it was hard.”
Numbers coming from Ontario were even more stark, Enns said, with 53 per cent of residents saying they visited family and friends.
“Given the situation in (the) province, I was a bit surprised.”
Ontario reported 3,128 cases of COVID-19 Tuesday with 778 coming from Toronto, 614 in Peel Region, 213 in York Region and 172 in Durham Region.
Public health staff say they expect an upward trend in cases in the coming weeks as it will take two to four weeks to see the repercussions of community transmission from over the holidays.
“I expect it will get worse before it gets better,” said Dr. Robert Kyle, who is Durham’s medical officer of health.
“We may see more cases before we see the full effects of the shutdown, which are expected towards the middle or end of January.”