With COVID-19 cases rising in the province, Toronto has consistently reported well over 2,000 new daily infections since Christmas.
On Wednesday, Toronto reported at least 2,524 new COVID-19 cases. This number is likely not an accurate representation of COVID-19 in the city as testing eligibility has changed.
We took a look at different neighbourhoods in the city to see where the virus is taking hold.
Toronto Public Health has an interactive neighbourhood map that displays infection rates throughout the city. The data has been available since May 2020 in an effort to show how infection rates vary across regions.
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Low-income neighbourhoods and those with a higher population of essential workers have been hit the hardest throughout the pandemic. But some neighbourhoods that were initially labelled COVID-19 hotspots have seen infection rates improve thanks to community outreach and high vaccine uptake.
These are the Toronto neighbourhoods with the highest rates of COVID-19 per 100,000 from December 16 to January 5:
- Waterfront Communities – The Island has the highest rates of COVID-19 at 2,943 per 100,000.
- The Niagara neighbourhood is a close second at 2,877 cases per 100,000.
- Little Portugal comes in third with 2,738 cases per 100,000.
The Waterfront Communities – The Island neighbourhood had the highest rates of COVID-19 in the city on December 20, but at a much lower rate of 625 cases per 100,000. The case rate in the neighbourhood has more than quadrupled in less than one month.
Niagara was also in the top three at the time, with a case rate of 571 cases per 100,000. Again, more than quadrupling in a matter of weeks.
Prior to the holidays, a number of neighbourhoods had COVID-19 rates below 100 per 100,000. Now, just three neighbourhoods have infection rates below 1,000 per 100,000. Those neighbourhoods are:
- Milliken with 738 infections per 100,000.
- Steeles with 824 cases per 100,000.
- Agincourt North with 879 cases per 100,000.
“Some neighbourhoods have higher COVID-19 rates because the people who live in them face higher risk due to their living and working conditions, including being essential workers who cannot work from home, lack of paid sick days, job insecurity, crowded housing, and taking crowded public transportation,” the City of Toronto says on the interactive map.
Beginning on Wednesday, Ontario introduced a number of new COVID-19 restrictions to curb the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Gyms, indoor dining, movie theatres, concert venues, and more have all been closed. Capacity limits have been reintroduced, and social gathering sizes have been drastically cut.