Changes in Public Perception and Behaviors under Compound Heatwave in COVID-19 Epidemic — Beijing, China, 2020

Ban, Jie; Sun, Yue; Zhang, Yi; He, Mike Zhongyu; Sun, Qinghua; Chen, Chen; Li, Tiantian

What is already known about this topic?
Dramatic heatwaves frequently occurred simultaneously with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic worldwide in 2020 and posed public health challenges. Public risk perceptions and behavioral responses to this compound risk need to be addressed.

What is added by this report?
During heatwaves, the proportion of individuals who perceived COVID-19 to be more concerning than heatwaves decreased by 9.4%, and the behavior of continuously wearing masks reduced by 20.6%. Heatwave exposures also corresponded to an average decline of 58% in the likelihood of continuously wearing masks and a decline of 41% in taking well-ventilated public transportation.

What are the implications for public health practice?
At-risk populations should be effectively prepared to respond to compounded risks from heatwaves occurring at the same time as COVID-19 outbreaks to better address threats caused by climate change.

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China CDC Weekly

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June 28, 2023