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Article

Population Adherence to Infection Control Behaviors during Hong Kong’s First and Third COVID-19 Waves: A Serial Cross-Sectional Study

1
Collaborating Centre for Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response (CCOUC), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
2
GX Foundation, Hong Kong, China
3
JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
4
Accident & Emergency Medicine Academic Unit, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giuseppe La Torre
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11176; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111176
Received: 13 September 2021 / Revised: 20 October 2021 / Accepted: 20 October 2021 / Published: 24 October 2021
Background: Although COVID-19 has affected over 220 countries by October 2021, there is limited research examining the patterns and determinants of adherence to infection control measures over time. Aims: Our study examines the sociodemographic factors associated with changes in the frequency of adherence to personal hygiene and social distancing behaviors in Hong Kong. Methods: A serial cross-sectional telephone survey in the general population was conducted during the first (March 2020) (n = 765) and third wave (December 2020) (n = 651) of the local outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents were asked about their level of compliance with various personal hygiene and social distancing recommendations. Results: By the third wave, mask use increased to 100%, and throughout the study periods, >90% practiced frequent hand hygiene. However, adherence to social distancing measures significantly waned over time: avoidance of social gatherings (80.5% to 72.0%), avoidance of public places/public transport (53.3% to 26.0%), avoidance of international travel (85.8% to 76.6%) (p < 0.05). The practice of ordering food takeout/home delivery, however, increased, particularly among high-income respondents. Higher education, female gender and employment status were the most consistently associated factors with adherence to COVID-19 preventive practices in the multivariable models. Conclusions: In urban areas of this region, interventions to improve personal hygiene in a prolonged pandemic should target males and those with low education. In addition to these groups, the working population needs to be targeted in order to improve adherence to social distancing guidelines. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; urban; health risks; serial cross-sectional; pandemic; population adherence; infection control behaviors; Hong Kong COVID-19; urban; health risks; serial cross-sectional; pandemic; population adherence; infection control behaviors; Hong Kong
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chan, E.Y.Y.; Kim, J.H.; Kwok, K.-o.; Huang, Z.; Hung, K.K.C.; Wong, E.L.Y.; Lee, E.K.P.; Wong, S.Y.S. Population Adherence to Infection Control Behaviors during Hong Kong’s First and Third COVID-19 Waves: A Serial Cross-Sectional Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 11176. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111176

AMA Style

Chan EYY, Kim JH, Kwok K-o, Huang Z, Hung KKC, Wong ELY, Lee EKP, Wong SYS. Population Adherence to Infection Control Behaviors during Hong Kong’s First and Third COVID-19 Waves: A Serial Cross-Sectional Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(21):11176. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111176

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chan, Emily Ying Yang, Jean H. Kim, Kin-on Kwok, Zhe Huang, Kevin Kei Ching Hung, Eliza Lai Yi Wong, Eric Kam Pui Lee, and Samuel Yeung Shan Wong. 2021. "Population Adherence to Infection Control Behaviors during Hong Kong’s First and Third COVID-19 Waves: A Serial Cross-Sectional Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 21: 11176. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111176

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