Toronto breaks down geographic spread of COVID-19, showing local hot spots in detail for first time

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre in Toronto.
Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Date Published: May 27, 2020

Source: CBC

Toronto is the first major metropolitan area in Canada to release detailed, geographic information about the distribution of COVID-19 cases in the community. The data shows that the highest concentration of cases lies in northeast and northwest Toronto, which is correlated with neighbourhoods with lower socioeconomic status. Dr. Eileen de Villa, the Toronto Medical Officer of Health, has stressed that the pros of releasing this information outweighs the potential harm. She emphasized that while the data certainly emphasizes that income, stable housing, and employment are key contributors to the COVID-19 case load, where a person lives is not necessarily an indication of where potential community transmission is taking place. Mayor John Tory stressed the same, highlighting that income inequality has been known to play a part in health outcomes in the city. There are hopes that this newly released data will help target interventions to areas that need it most, including increased testing and education.

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Summary by: Vincent Tang