UBC Faculty Research and Publications

A tale of two parts of Switzerland: regional differences in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on parents Seiler, Michelle; Staubli, Georg; Hoeffe, Julia; Gualco, Gianluca; Manzano, Sergio; Goldman, Ran D.


Background We aimed to document the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on regions within a European country. Methods Parents arriving at two pediatric emergency departments (EDs) in North of Switzerland and two in South of Switzerland completed an online survey during the first peak of the pandemic (April–June 2020). They were asked to rate their concern about their children or themselves having COVID-19. Results A total of 662 respondents completed the survey. Parents in the South were significantly more exposed to someone tested positive for COVID-19 than in the North (13.9 and 4.7%, respectively; P <  0.001). Parents in the South were much more concerned than in the North that they (mean 4.61 and 3.32, respectively; P <  0.001) or their child (mean 4.79 and 3.17, respectively; P <  0.001) had COVID-19. Parents reported their children wore facemasks significantly more often in the South than in the North (71.5 and 23.5%, respectively; P <  0.001). Conclusion The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in significant regional differences among families arriving at EDs in Switzerland. Public health agencies should consider regional strategies, rather than country-wide guidelines, in future pandemics and for vaccination against COVID-19 for children.

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