The City of Toronto has an interactive map that shows geographic information on COVID-19 cases in the city by neighbourhood to help fight the spread of the virus.
Toronto Public Health updates the information daily to provide the most up-to-date data for residents.
“By knowing where those impacted by COVID-19 live, and by assessing other important risk factors, Toronto Public Health is better able to inform preventive actions, identify where proactive testing can be helpful and take action to reduce virus spread,” the city said in it’s initial statement.
The interactive map was released on May 27, 2020.
It reflects where individuals live, but not necessarily where they were initially exposed to the virus.
As of April 12, 2021, some neighbourhoods have more than 1,100 cases per 100,000 population. Meanwhile others have less than 200 cases per 100,000 population.
The city’s northwest and northeast ratios tend to be harder hit than more affluent areas in the Toronto’s midtown areas.
In April, the province released a list of hotspot postal codes where residents will be eligible for a vaccine sooner.
It’s important to note that areas with lower rates of coronavirus cases are not necessarily safer and do not pose less of a risk of infection.
During a press conference in May 2020, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, said that by divulging coronavirus cases in different neighbourhoods, it can spread “misinformation,” which is why it’s important to understand that areas of higher infection does not mean that is where the virus is spreading the most, it just means it is where there are the most cases.
“Misinformation can lead to unintended stigma. We have a shared responsibility to not create social and physical harms in our community,” de Villa said on May 27.
She added that, “These cases are our friends, colleagues, and family members.”
“COVID-19 is the greatest threat our city has faced this generation. It continues to take lives and we know it is present across our city. No person — young or old — is immune.
No neighbourhood is immune. And of course, it poses other threats to our residents. Their employment, their financial state, and even their state of mental well-being,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement at the time.
“I believe releasing this information will help far more than harm. It is a reminder that COVID-19 is here and we must be vigilant in following public health advice. It is a reminder we must focus on supporting people affected by this terrible illness, not shy away from that in anyway whatsoever. And I hope it will encourage people if they have even one symptom of COVID-19 to get tested.”
According to the City, residents are reminded of the importance of adhering to public health advice to wash their hands often, stay within their household bubble, practise physical distancing, or wear a face covering or non-medical mask to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.