Report: Tracking COVID 19 Through Race-Based Data

At Ontario Health, we recognize that race-based data is an important tool. It can help to identify, challenge, measure and ultimately address inequities in health care planning, delivery and evaluation.

This report describes race-based data on the prevalence of COVID-19 in Ontario.

Developed in partnership with the Wellesley Institute.

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This report examines race-based data collected between June 26, 2020 and April 21, 2021, by Ontario public health units.

The data show that COVID-19’s impact has been highly racialized. The analysis found that racialized populations had 1.2- to 7.1-fold higher rates of COVID-19 infection compared with white Ontarians.

The racialized and inequitable health outcomes generated by the pandemic are not products of the pandemic alone. They are the result of systems that marginalize racialized communities.

The data were collected both to inform Ontario’s pandemic response and to help address these inequities.

This report makes three recommendations: 

  • That Ontario’s health and public health systems standardize the collection of sociodemographic data through health card registration and renewal.
  • That the health system apply anti-racist approaches to identify systemic causes of health inequities.
  • That the health system use race-based data to inform recovery efforts and address structural inequities.
Last Updated: September 27, 2022