Objectives: To determine peoples' knowledge, attitudes, risk perceptions, and practices to provide policymakers pieces of field-based evidence and help them in the management of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Methods: This population-based survey was conducted using multi-stage stratified and cluster sampling in Shiraz, Iran. A total of 1331 persons were interviewed. The questionnaires were completed by face-to-face interviews. Univariable and multivariable (linear regression) data analyses were done using SPSS.
Results: The participants answered 63% of questions regarding knowledge, and 78% of questions regarding practice correctly. Only, 4.8% knew about common symptoms of COVID-19 and 7.3% about warning signs that require referral to hospitals. Males, lower educated people, and elders had a lower level of knowledge and poorer practices. Knowledge was also lower in the marginalized (socially deprived) people. Knowledge and practices' correlation was 37%. Overall, 43.6% considered themselves at high risk of COVID-19, and 50% considered it as a severe disease. This disease had negative effects on most participants' routine activities (69.1%). The participants preferred to follow the news from the national TV/Radio, social networks, and foreign satellite channels, respectively.
Conclusions: Encouragement of people to observe preventive measures and decreasing social stress, especially among males, lower educated people, elders, and marginalized groups, are highly recommended.
Keywords: Attitude; COVID-19; Health belief model; Knowledge; Practice; Risk perception.