More than a third of Canadian households got COVID-19 after restrictions lifted, poll finds

Click to play video: 'New poll shows third of Canadian households have been hit with COVID-19 in the last few weeks'
New poll shows third of Canadian households have been hit with COVID-19 in the last few weeks
A new poll shows Canadians are learning to live with COVID-19. The survey done by Research Co. found a third of households in the country have been impacted by the virus in the past few weeks. As Richard Zussman reports, that number is even higher for British Columbians. – Aug 8, 2022

More than a third of Canadian households have been impacted by COVID-19 since public health measures were lifted where they live, a new survey has found.

In response to an online poll by the Vancouver-based Research Co., 37 per cent of Canadians reported they were infected themselves, or someone in their household was infected after restrictions lifted.

The survey conducted between Aug. 1 and Aug. 3 included 1,000 respondents from across the country. In May, a Research Co. survey found that just 23 per cent of Canadians had been impacted by the virus.

“The more weeks go by, the more people — even if they’re vaccinated — are exposed to COVID,” said Mario Canseco, Research Co. president, in an interview.

“At the same time, we don’t see a level of animosity towards the idea of not having restrictions and mandates that you would imagine. It’s almost as though Canadians are now ambivalent about COVID-19.”

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Nationwide, 46 per cent of survey respondents said they believe public health restrictions and mandates were abandoned too early in their communities, while 44 per cent thought the decision was made at the right time.

In the Atlantic region, 55 per cent of respondents appeared “disappointed” with the current absence of restrictions, compared to 48 per cent in Alberta, 47 per cent in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 45 per cent in B.C. and Quebec, and 43 per cent in Ontario.

The survey found that 66 per cent of Canadians would be satisfied if forced to wear a mask indoors, and 63 per cent would feel the same way about capacity limits returning to public venues, such as theatres or arenas.

Sixty per cent would also be satisfied with proof of vaccination measures, the survey found. The results varied little from the finding’s of the May survey.

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Restrictions, including gathering limits, proof of vaccination and face masking, were lifted in most provinces between February and April.

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The B.C. government received the highest levels of approval for how it dealt with the pandemic, with 62 per cent of respondents reporting they were satisfied. Quebec followed with 58 per cent satisfaction, while the Ontario and Alberta governments received satisfaction rates of 48 and 39 per cent, respectively.

“There’s certainly a level of steadiness to the numbers when you go from region to region,” said Canseco.

Fifty-five per cent of respondents reported they were satisfied with the federal government’s handling of the outbreak, a decrease from the 61 per cent reported in May. The satisfaction rate for municipal governments also dropped from 65 per cent to 59 per cent.

The survey found that most Canadians — 68 per cent — believe the worst of the pandemic is probably or definitely “behind us.” Seventy-seven per cent, however, continued to brand COVID-19 as a threat, including 82 per cent of respondents aged 55 and over.

Three in five respondents said they believe it’s only a matter of time before everyone catches COVID-19, and more than half — 54 per cent — claimed that as long as people are vaccinated, it’s only a “minor nuisance.”

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