The effectiveness of public health interventions for mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic depends on individual attitudes, compliance, and the level of support available to allow for compliance with these measures. The aim of this study was to describe attitudes and behaviours towards the Canadian COVID-19 public health response, and identify risk-modifying behaviours based on socio-demographic characteristics. A cross-sectional online survey was administered in May 2020 to members of a paid panel representative of the Canadian population by age, gender, official language, and region of residence. A total of 4981 respondents provided responses for indicators of self-reported risk perceptions, attitudes, and behaviours towards COVID-19 public health measures. More than 90% of respondents reported confidence in the ability to comply with a variety of public health measures. However, only 51% reported preparedness for illness in terms of expectation to work if sick or access to paid sick days. Risk perceptions, attitudes, and behaviours varied by demographic variables. Men, younger age groups, and those in the paid workforce were less likely to consider public health measures to be effective, and had less confidence in their ability to comply. Approximately 80% of respondents reported that parents provided childcare and 52% reported that parents in the workforce provided childcare while schools were closed. Policies to help address issues of public adherence include targeted messaging for men and younger age groups, social supports for those who need to self-isolate, changes in workplace policies to discourage presenteeism, and provincially co-ordinated masking and safe school policies.

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