People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walk past a multi-colour mural with hearts painted on it, in Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walk past a multi-colour mural with hearts painted on it, in Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Physical distancing at work a challenge for 50% of British Columbians: CDC survey

Survey was taken at a time when B.C. was recording single-digit daily case numbers

Only 50 per cent of people who took a COVID-19 survey felt they were able to physically distance at work in May, according to results released by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

The survey, which had 400,000 participants between May 12 and May 31, found that people were largely prioritizing COVID-19 safety measures. Results showed that 90 per cent of people were washing their hands regularly, 93 per cent were physically distancing and 89 per cent were avoiding gatherings. Only one per cent of people were taking no preventative actions, according to survey results.

However, British Columbia did not do as well on the work front. The survey found that 67 per cent of respondents were able to stay home when sick, while 55 per cent were able to work remotely and just 50 per cent were able to physically distance at work.

On the public health front, 78 per cent believed that the response was appropriate.

COVID-19 cases during the times when the survey was open were much lower than are currently being seen in B.C. On May 12, the first day of the survey, B.C. recorded seven new cases and one death. On May 31, the day after the survey closed, the province recorded nine cases and one death.

This past weekend saw 2,020 new cases of the virus and 35 deaths over three reporting periods.

At the time of the survey, British Columbians were also asked if they would like to take part in serology testing to see if they had COVID-19 antibodies. In a statement provided with survey results, the CDC said that they had decided against widespread serology testing due to “reliable serology tests still [being] under review.”

The CDC said they will be following up with a few survey respondents for serology testing “to support validating serology tests and potentially inform vaccine immune response when vaccination becomes available.”

The survey results are available here.

READ MORE: Events, gatherings banned through Christmas, New Year’s in B.C. with no COVID reprieve in sight


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