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

Life is an adventure for Armstrong resident

Heaton Place resident Sam Thompson travelled the world and has stories to share

Vernon schools, Mounties wear Orange

Orange Shirt Day is held every Sept. 30 in recognition of the harms caused by residential schools

Vernon softball league thanks organizers

Steve and Yvonne Feedham recognized for guiding Vernon Senior Slow Pitch through COVID

Quite a year for Vernon mental health agency

Increased programming and rapid COVID-19 response sees busy year for CMHA Vernon

Kelowna women’s outreach group expands to support men amid ‘stressful and uncertain times’

HOPE Outreach says they’re expanding services in reaction to ‘stressful and uncertain times’

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Mitchell’s Musings: Predictions, politics and pandemics

Columnist Glenn Mitchell offers some random thoughts on current affairs

Documentary to celebrate the Shuswap’s music scene

Local initiative to feature several of the region’s artists

Guns seized in relation to southeast Kelowna murder investigation

RCMP seized several firearms from a West Kelowna home on Tuesday

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Most Read