Majority of Canadians in favour of closing non-essential businesses during second wave of COVID-19: poll
Published Sunday, October 11, 2020 12:14PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, October 11, 2020 12:16PM EDT
A majority of Canadians support or somewhat support the closing of non-essential businesses as the country tackles a second wave of COVID-19.
According to a new poll by Nanos Research, which was commissioned by CTV News, 45 per cent of Canadians are in favour of the closures and 25 per cent somewhat support it.
Non-essential businesses include gyms, movie theatres, places of worship and limiting restaurants to take-out only.
Thirteen per cent of respondents somewhat oppose the closures, while 16 per cent outright oppose it.
The poll results come as the Ontario government ordered the COVID-19 hotspots of Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa to close theatres, gyms and indoor dining at restaurants to reduce the spread of the virus.
The new rules kicked in on Saturday and will be in effect for 28 days.
The poll also found that seven in 10 Canadians support or somewhat support controlling travelling between provinces. Control measures would include requiring Canadians from other provinces to quarantine for 14 days when they visit another province. Over one quarter of respondents said they somewhat oppose or completely oppose this idea.
COVID-19 testing policies and backlog
Seven in 10 Canadians support or somewhat support having one COVID-19 testing policy for the country instead of different rules in each province, according to the poll.
Just over a quarter of respondents somewhat oppose or completely oppose having a national testing protocol and five per cent are unsure.
Last Tuesday, COVID-19 testing centres in Ontario moved to appointments only in an effort to prepare for winter and reduce wait times.
The move came after the provincial government recently faced criticism over the long lines at assessment centres where people have had to wait for hours to get tested.
The provincial government also changed its screening guidance where only symptomatic people or those in high-risk groups should seek out a test.
Testing backlog was also a big concern in Ontario as many people were waiting days to receive their test results.
On Sunday, more than 45,800 tests were still under investigation by provincial health labs.
CEO of the Lab Professionals Association of Ontario Michelle Hoad spoke to CP24 Sunday morning and said labs are extremely busy this long weekend.
“It's very very busy right now. You can go into a lot of labs and the scene is actually, it looks like a sea and sea of tests, tests in bags, tests in boxes. All these tests needed to get processed and needing to get into a freezer right now,” Hoad said.
Hoad said roughly 90,000 tests were in backlog and the province’s labs are working to process all of them.
“So when a test comes into the lab they will prioritize it, someone in a hospital, a health-care worker and a symptomatic patient are priority,” Hoad said.
Earlier this week, the Ontario government confirmed that it is also sending some tests to labs in the U.S. for processing to help with the backlog.
Hoad said shipping tests to the U.S. and neighbouring provinces are “all really good creative ideas for us to manage the backlog” and that “the province is doing the best it can with the limitations that we’re dealing with.”
Nanos’ online and telephone survey was conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4 and interviewed 1,003 Canadians.
The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.