An area of Brampton tops the list of 30 neighbourhoods in Ontario with the highest number of positive COVID-19 cases, according to new research.
Toronto-based non-profit ICES, formerly the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, which monitors Ontario’s health care system, looked at positive case numbers out of the number of people tested in the province during the first week of November.
The finding presented the top 30 postal codes with the highest rates. At the top was a pocket of the Peel region, the northeast corner of Brampton, which had a positivity rate of 19 per cent. This was double the percentage of the Peel region overall and five times higher than the provincial average at that time, which was 3.7 per cent.
Dr. Kwong, a senior scientist at ICES, says the numbers show there are certain areas that have a higher transmission rate than others.
“It’s not evenly distributed all over the public health unit,” he tells Yahoo Canada.
Kwong says there’s a number of contributing factors as for why some areas have higher positive rates than others. For one, it could reflect the line of work of many people in the area.
“The types of occupations of people living in that area, they probably aren’t working from home,” he says. “They’re probably essential workers who have to go into workplaces.”
There are also high numbers of populated households, where many people live under one roof. In these cases, it’s harder to self-isolate and the risk of transmission is more likely between one person to another.
On social media, users were vocal about why this area of the GTA is being hit hard by the virus. Some referred to the high number of people in the area who work in factories, including the Amazon warehouse, where there was a reported case. Many people in the area also work in transportation. Others noted that the region’s healthcare system is underfunded.
On Facebook, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown weighed in on the comment section of a story about police attending a large Diwali celebration in the city over the weekend. Brown assured the commenters that the place in question would face a fine.
“We have 100 plus places of worship and we had an issue at 1. 99 percent were doing a good job. This particular place didn’t exceed limits indoors. They just didn’t plan for the outdoor crowd. Many people walked up and drove which created a crowd,” he wrote.