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Poll shows Manitobans becoming less fearful of COVID-19 – Winnipeg Free Press

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Fear of COVID-19 has diminished across the country as talk of reopening the nation ramps up among provincial leaders, and many Canadians — including nearly half of Manitobans — have begun relaxing their personal protective measures to combat the virus, according to new polling data.

More than half of all Canadians and 55 per cent of Manitoba-Saskatchewan residents fear contracting COVID-19, a trend that has slowly inched downwards over the past several weeks, according to new data from Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies.


Similarly, the percentage of Canadians who feel the worst of the pandemic has already passed notched up seven points to 15 per cent this week, while the percentage who fear the worst is yet to come dropped six points to 33 per cent.

But as fears start to diminish, Canadians are starting to loosen up on protective measures, the data suggests. One-third of all Canadians and 47 per cent of Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents reported not complying with at least one of the public health and safety measures, including social distancing, handwashing, and avoiding non-essential travel.

The new poll—which surveyed 1,515 Canadians randomly recruited from Leger’s online panel between April 24 and April 26—is the sixth weekly report Leger has released to track Canada’s response to the pandemic on an ongoing basis. No margin of error can be determined for a web-sourced sample.


According to the week-over-week trends, as governments begin releasing plans to open their province’s doors once again, Canadians are increasingly willing to leave home for more than just the essentials, said Leger executive vice-president Andrew Enns in an interview Tuesday.

“When you start to talk about what the future might look like, you kind of break open the barrier a little bit, and I think you see part of that is reflected in people starting to take little liberties,” he added.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan—grouped together in the poll’s regional data—reported the highest level of non-compliance compared to other regions in the country. A higher proportion of those who did not comply with health regulations were men, and were between the ages of 25 and 34, the poll reported.


Most Canadians are keen to wait for stress on the health-care system to ease up before provinces start their return to ‘normal. More than a quarter of prairie province residents reported being uncomfortable with restrictions lifting until new cases are sporadic and there is no stress on the health-care system. Another 27 per cent reported wanting to wait until two full weeks without new cases have passed.

Still, the percentage of the population waiting on a vaccine before feeling comfortable reopening decreased this week, Enns said, dropping from 20 to 15 per cent nationwide.

“You’re seeing people starting to shift mentally, I think, to thinking about things starting to return to reopening,” he added. “That fear factor in most of the country is going down.”


When that vaccine comes, Canadians are split on whether it should be mandatory. According to the poll 60 per cent of all Canadians and 52 per cent of Manitoba-Saskatchewan residents think the vaccine should be mandated for all, while 40 per cent of Canadians and 48 per cent of prairie residents think it should be voluntary.

Despite a nationally decreasing sense of worry, Manitobans remain least satisfied with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic from all three levels of government.

Following a trend that has remained consistent for all six weeks of Leger’s polling, Manitobans reported the lowest satisfaction with the provincial response to the virus, with only 68 per cent approving of the Pallister government’s actions compared to an average 85 per cent approval across all provinces.

julia-simone.rutgers@freepress.mb.ca

@jsrutgers

Julia-Simone Rutgers

Julia-Simone Rutgers
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Julia-Simone Rutgers is a general-assignment reporter.

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Public health working to contain latest COVID-19 outbreaks – StCatharinesStandard.ca

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Public health working to contain latest COVID-19 outbreaks – NiagaraFallsReview.ca

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New hours for London, Ont.’s Oakridge Arena COVID-19 assessment centre effective Monday – Global News

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The coronavirus assessment centre at Oakridge Arena in London, Ont., is changing its hours starting Monday, June 8.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) announced Friday the centre’s new hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


READ MORE:
London COVID-19 assessment centres see over 500 people in busiest day yet

The hours for London’s other COVID-19 assessment centre at the Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre will remain unchanged. It operates from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

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Wait times for both assessment centres can be found on the MLHU’s Twitter page.

The MLHU says anyone may attend either assessment centre to be assessed for coronavirus testing.

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READ MORE:
Ontario reports 455 new coronavirus cases, including 68 impacted by reporting delay

Tests are conducted based on clinical criteria, but those who do not show symptoms of the novel coronavirus but are concerned they may have been exposed to a positive case or believe they may already be ill will be tested, the health unit stated.

There is no medication or treatment onsite at the COVID-19 assessment centres.

As of Saturday, the COVID-19 assessment centre at Oakridge Arena has swabbed 4,762 clients, and the centre at the Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre has swabbed 8,011, according to MLHU figures.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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