Employees work at the Canadian Hospital Specialities (CHS) helping take dual COVID-19 testing swab kits and separating them into two units to help with swab capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic in Oakville, Ont., on Monday, June 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

B.C. study finds 25% of people think health-care workers shouldn’t be out in public

One-third said they didn’t want to be anywhere near a health-care worker

A study from the University of B.C. found that 25 per cent of people don’t think that health-care workers should be out in public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study, published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, found that 32 per cent thought that health-care workers in hospitals are “more likely” to have COVID-19, despite the risk being low. The virus is only slightly more prevalent among health-care workers than it is among the general population, at 0.14 per cent compared to 0.10 per cent.

The bigger risk, researchers said, is stress, which is added to by stigma and judgement.

“Being around healthcare workers is not dangerous,” said Steven Taylor, a professor of psychiatry in UBC’s faculty of medicine and lead author of the study. “People need to look at the facts and understand that we don’t need to add to the stress that healthcare workers are already experiencing. If we create burdens on our healthcare workers, it’s going to undermine their ability to perform their jobs properly.”

The study also found that 33 per cent of people didn’t want to be around health-care workers at all, while 31 per cent believed that workers who treat people with COVID-19 should be separated from their families.

While health-care workers have been celebrated throughout the pandemic, researchers found that people who participate in the nightly 7 p.m. cheers aren’t any less likely to hold stigmatizing views.

“What struck me the most was this combination of people getting out there and applauding from the safety of their balconies, but also having some very strong and mistaken beliefs about the dangers that healthcare workers pose,” Taylor said.

Researchers surveyed a random sample of 3,551 people in Canada and the U.S. between May 6 and 19.

ALSO READ: B.C. breaks single-day record for new COVID 19 cases; 269 total cases over weekend

ALSO READ: Stats Canada survey suggests some Canadians worried about safety of COVID-19 vaccine


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusHealthcare

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Six additional COVID-19 cases overnight in Interior Health region

The total number of cases within the region is now at 486

Controversy in Fraser-Nicola riding as NDP names their candidate

Entire riding association executive resigns after Aaron Sumexheltza wins NDP nomination

New physician unexpectedly leaves Ashcroft clinic

Dr. Stephen Akinkuni started work at the Ashcroft Family Medical Practice in March 2020

Lions want to make Smile Cookies campaign a roaring success

One hundred per cent of funds raised will go back into the community

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Most Read