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

Jordan Naterer, 25, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. He planned a hike in the Manning Park area, and has not been seen since. Photo Facebook.
Family devastated as search for missing Manning Park hiker suspended

‘It was an extremely difficult meeting with the parents when we had to tell them.’

Advance voting is already underway in the 42nd general election in British Columbia. Election day is Oct. 24.(Black Press files photo)
QUIZ: Are you ready for the B.C. election?

Take this short test and see how much you know about elections and voting

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. Facebook photo.
‘Please pray for our son,’ says mother of missing hiker

Searchers continue efforts to find 25-year-old Vancouver man in Manning Park

(File photo)
BCCDC reports new COVID-19 case on Kelowna flight

WestJet flight 182 from Kelowna to Calgary had a case of COVID-19 on board Oct. 10

A puppy is cared for at the Kelowna BC SPCA. Image: BC SPCA
Puppy recovers from virus after being seized from Princeton farm

The pup was one of the 97 animals seized by the BC SPCA in September

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Summerland Steam will play their first exhibition game of the season on Friday, Oct. 23. Unlike previous years, there will be no spectators allowed in the stands this year in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Brennan Phillips - Black Press)
Junior B hockey teams to play in empty arenas

Summerland Steam and other teams affected by decision to close facilities to fans

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

A file photo of an RCMP dog. (Campbell River RCMP photo)
Lawsuit claims Kelowna man suffered ‘vicious’ attack by RCMP dog, handler

Fernando Verde claims he was resuscitated at the hospital and needed emergency surgery following the attack

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Most Read