OTTAWA -- A majority of Ottawa residents are respecting the calls to practice physical distancing to help limit the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic.

A survey conducted by Ottawa Public Health finds 94 per cent of Ottawa residents believe COVID-19 is serious and that the school and business closures are necessary.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches presented the survey’s findings to Council on Wednesday morning.

The survey shows 85 per cent of residents are staying two metres away from people as much as possible during the pandemic.

Ottawa Public Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada have recommended people practice physical distancing by staying two metres from others to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

The City of Ottawa has closed all public parks except to walk through, and all non-essential businesses have been ordered to remain closed. 

According to the survey, 79 per cent of Ottawa residents are limiting outings to essential shopping for food and other household supplies.

Eighty-four per cent of residents socialize outdoors only (walks and in a yard) and/or remotely (phone, online)

Other findings from the survey

  • 79 per cent believe they’re doing their part to prevent the spread of disease to others is important
  • 71 per cent increased the number of times they wash their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer
  • 59 per cent increase the number of times they clean surfaces in their homes.

The survey also looked at the concerns of Ottawa residents

  • 79 per cent are concerned about the safety of those who are frail
  • 61 per cent are concerned about the mental health of everyone in the household
  • 61 per cent are concerned about the physical health in the household
  • 41 per cent are concerned about household income

Dr. Etches told Council the random online survey was conducted between March 27 and March 31.