Throughout the pandemic, researchers working in various regions have shown that COVID-19 infection rates are disproportionately higher for racialized and low-income persons. In July, and November of 2020, data from Toronto Public Health showed that approximately 80 per cent of new COVID-19 cases in Toronto were among racialized persons, even though they make up only 52 per cent of the population of the City of Toronto. A similar investigation from Peel Public Health in March 2021 revealed that 83 per cent of new COVID-19 cases in Brampton, Caledon, and Mississauga were racialized persons, although they make up only 59 per cent of the population in these areas.
Evidence that considers the whole province of Ontario also showed an association between neighbourhood ethno-cultural diversity and COVID-19 infection rates, and COVID-19 related deaths, in May of 2020. Work at the area level has also suggested moderate improvements in terms of population inequities in access to vaccines. It is unclear whether changes in access to vaccination have translated into changes in COVID-19 infection rates, and rates of hospitalizations/deaths from COVID-19.
Data on cumulative rates of infections and hospitalizations/deaths for FSAs were accessed from Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) for March 27, May 8, and June 20, 2021. These data were linked to 2016 census characteristics for FSAs. Correlations between neighbourhood characteristics and COVID-19 outcomes were computed. The results here show that over the course of over two months neighbourhood inequities by race worsened in the case of hospitalizations/deaths.