Coronavirus: City of Toronto to start gathering race-based data connected to COVID-19

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Toronto Public Health will now be collecting race-based data connected to COVID-19, a practice which its provincial counterparts aren’t doing.

Coun. Joe Cressy, who is also chair of Toronto’s board of health, said the practice was necessary so the city could learn everything it can about those impacted COVID-19 while adjusting public health practices.

Cressy said if the City of Toronto wants to respond effectively during the pandemic, it needs to understand which groups are the most at risk to COVID-19.

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If it does that, Cressy said public health officials can help inform practices to protect the most vulnerable from the disease.

“The provincial government has unfortunately made it clear that they are not interested or willing to collect race-based data,” said Cressy.

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He said the government’s decision was contrary to decades of public health work surrounding data capturing.

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“If the provincial government is not willing to collect and share that data, we’re going to step up and find a way to do it ourselves,” said Cressy.

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