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

No personal information released following ransomware attack, says RDOS

The RDOS suffered an attempted ransomware attack in August, halting services

Popular Penticton cafe shuts its doors

Saint Germaine Cafe and Gallery served its last latte Sept. 19

Kelowna filmmaker launches fundraiser for ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ fan movie

Donations will go towards the production of ‘The Sawyer Massacre’

What we know: Who’s up for election this fall in the South Okanagan

Premier Horgan has called for a snap election to be held Oct. 24

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

16 COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health region

One person is in hospital and 34 people are isolating

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

Truck, Shuswap police vehicle collide during arrest of wanted man

Emergency response team and helicopter called out to assist in Chase area arrest

Stolen vehicle recovered from site of Vernon manhunt for wanted man

Police return to Brooks Lane in response to reports of suspicious vehicle

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Shuswap search and rescue crew respond to dirt biker injured on Mount Ida

North Vancouver man transported to hospital for treatment of injuries

Kelowna woman to run from Vernon to Penticton for mental health awareness

Melissa Gosse’s 100-kilometre ultramarathon will raise funds for Canadian Mental Health Association

‘Totally unnecessary’ – Okanagan-Shuswap Liberals MLAs reacts to election call

Eric Foster, Greg Kyllo say call is “political opportunity;’ each will seek re-election

Most Read