By ANGUS REID INSTITUTE
January 31, 2022 – A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute offers insight into just how widespread the Omicron variant of COVID-19 may be in Canada.
These latest data estimate that approximately one-in-five households (21%) have had at least one case of COVID-19 positivity since Dec. 1, 2021. A considerable portion of these positive tests (36%) – self-reported by respondents in this survey – came just after the holiday season, in the first two weeks of January, while 42 per cent occurred in December.
These data also estimate the incidence of COVID-19 among individuals during that same period. Overall, 9 per cent of Canadians saying they have received a positive test – either at home or at a testing center – for COVID-19 since Dec. 1.
ARI estimates that additional five per cent of Canadians – at least – have been infected during that period, based on an analysis of the number of self-reported symptoms, and the positivity rate among those with similar symptom profiles who were tested.
Notably, this 14 per cent aligns closely with the number of Canadians who say they are “almost certain” that they have had COVID-19 in the past two months, added to those who have a positive test confirmed.
With Omicron now appearing to have peaked, many Canadians are leaning toward reducing restrictions related to COVID-19 control in Canada. A majority (54%) now say it is time to remove restrictions and let Canadians manage their own level of risk, an increase of 15 percentage points since this question was asked in early January.
More Key Findings:
- Household infection is reported at the highest levels in Quebec and the lowest levels in Atlantic Canada, both of which align with data submitted by provincial governments
- Testing levels for low-income households are significantly lower than those with higher household income levels. Additionally, British Columbia lags behind the rest of the country in testing, with just one-quarter of adults reporting having taken a test since December 1. The national average is 42 per cent
- Women over the age of 54 are the only age-gender group that disagree that restrictions should be ended. A majority of each of the other gender and generation groupings agree that the time has come