OTTAWA -- Alcohol kills the coronavirus. Booze strengthens your immune system. Drinking helps relieve stress.

These are just three of the myths surrounding alcohol that public health officials are trying to dispel as more Canadians are drinking at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Nanos Poll commissioned by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction last month showed 25 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 35 and 54 say they are drinking more alcohol at home. About 21 per cent between 18 and 34 years old also report drinking more at home.

The main reasons, according to those who report drinking more: a lack of a regular schedule (51 per cent), boredom (49 per cent) and stress (44 per cent).

Ottawa Public Health is reminding people of the facts surrounding alcohol and the coronavirus, dispelling three general myths.

Myth 1: Drinking alcohol kills the virus that causes COVID-19.

Ottawa Public Health says drinking alcohol will not disinfect your mouth and throat, and will not protect you from the novel coronavirus.

Myth 2: Alcohol makes the immune system stronger and more resistant to COVID-19.

In fact, the opposite is true. Experts say beer, wine, distilled spirits and other alcoholic drinks can weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to COVID-19 and other illnesses.

Myth 3: Drinking alcohol can help you cope with stress.

Alcohol can actually increase and exacerbate symptoms of panic and anxiety disorders, depression and other mental disorders, Ottawa Public Health says. It is also statistically correlated to an increased risk of family and domestic abuse.

For more information on the effects of alcohol and everything you need to know about COVID-19, you can visit Ottawa Public Health’s website.

The Pan American Health Organization also has more information on alcohol and the novel coronavirus on its website.