VANCOUVER -- More than half of B.C. residents have a rather pessimistic view of the COVID-19 pandemic's trajectory, with a new poll suggesting many feel the worst is still to come.

The poll, conducted by Research Co., found 61 per cent of B.C. residents believe the worst of the pandemic lies ahead, up 21 points since a similar survey was conducted in June. 

That's also quite a bit higher than the national average from the latest poll, which is at 46 per cent.

When that first survey was conducted over June 26 to 28, B.C. reported a daily average of 11 COVID-19 cases over the three days. However, when the most recent survey was conducted – between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 – B.C. reported an average of 89 cases each day. 

While the outlook is gloomy, 90 per cent of Canadians agree with keeping the U.S.-Canada border closed to non-essential travel and requiring all travellers arriving to Canada to self-isolate for two weeks. 

And support is very high for requiring customers and visitors in indoor spaces to wear masks. Across Canada, 85 per cent say they're in favour of the practice, while in B.C., the number is just one percentage point lower. 

"Women are more likely to be wearing a mask every time they go out (75 per cent) than men (65 per cent)," said Mario Canseco, president of Research Co., in a news release. 

"Canadians aged 18 to 34 are also more observant of this practice (74 per cent) than their counterparts aged 35 to 54 (70 per cent) and those aged 55 and over (66 per cent)."

But not all regulations are seen in a favourable light. With many students heading back to class this week, 39 per cent of B.C. residents polled say they either moderately or strongly disagree with in-class learning being allowed. Nationally, 42 per cent said the same. 

Results are based on an online survey conducted from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, 2020, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.