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Canadians increasingly worried about catching COVID-19, but many not wearing masks: poll

Last Updated Jul 16, 2020 at 9:10 am PDT

FILE - Packages of face masks on April 29, 2020. CITYNEWS/Tony Fera

Canadians are growing more concerned about catching COVID-19 again, a new poll finds

Angus Reid Institute says there's been an uptick in the number of people who worry they'll get sick

Survey finds many Canadians aren't wearing face masks, despite concern over getting sick with COVID-19

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Worries about becoming infected with COVID-19 continue to rise across Canada.

According to the Angus Reid Institute, there’s been an uptick in the number of people concerned, with three-in-five respondents saying they’re worried they’re going to get sick.

That’s up 13 points from June.

However, despite increasing concern, it appears not all Canadians are following the advice of top doctors.

The Angus Reid Institute finds only one-in-five people surveyed — 20 per cent — say they always wear a face mask when they go out. Only 35 per cent of respondents “say they do so ‘most of the time.'”

Of those who don’t wear a face mask, many say it’s because they are aware of social distancing rules, forgot to wear one, find wearing a mask or face covering uncomfortable, or just aren’t worried about getting sick.

“Worry about becoming sick plays a significant role in a person’s likelihood to wear a mask,” the institute says. “Four-in-five (81%) of those who are very worried about contracting the virus say they wear a mask always or most of the time. Four-in-five (85%) of those who are not worried at all about becoming sick say they rarely or never wear one.”

Meanwhile, even though a large portion of those polled say they rarely or never wear a face mask, the Angus Reid Institute suggest about three-quarters of survey respondents would be fine with a mandatory mask-wearing policy in their community.

Support for that is highest in B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada, at 73 per cent, while support is 60 per cent in Alberta, and 55 per cent in Saskatchewan.