COVID-19 mortality rate higher in neighbourhoods with more visible minorities: StatsCan

Yet more evidence of correlation between visible minorities, lower income and poorer housing:

Residents of communities home to more visible minorities had a higher likelihood of dying from COVID-19 in Canada’s three largest provinces, according to Statistics Canada, in a trend health experts say underscores the need for provinces such as B.C. and Quebec to improve their data collection on race and mortality.

report issued by StatsCan late last month looking into COVID-19 mortality rates in “ethno-cultural neighbourhoods” found communities in B.C. that were home to more than 25 per cent visible minorities had an age-adjusted COVID-19 mortality rate that was 10 times higher than neighbourhoods that were less than one per cent visible minority.

In Ontario and Quebec, neighbourhoods with large visible minority populations had age-adjusted mortality rates three times higher than the general public.

That COVID-19 deaths in B.C.’s ethno-cultural neighbourhoods are ten times higher than comparable rates for Canada’s broader population could be partially linked to a lower general death rate in the province.

As of Monday, 299 people with the virus had died in B.C., out of more than 11,000 deaths across Canada.

The Statistics Canada analysis was compiled when B.C. had fewer than 200 coronavirus deaths. But the analysis is part of a growing body of literature showing that visible minority communities in Canada have been hit harder by the virus than the general population.

Dr. Andrew Boozary, the executive director of Social Medicine and Population Health at the University Health Network in Toronto, said it’s important to have specific, reliable data so affected populations can be protected.

“We’ve not been a leader on that front and it has been awfully expensive in not allowing our response to be as precise as we hoped, but also not allowing us to galvanize the response as quickly as we should have.”

‘Extremely important to be collecting that data’

Unlike Ontario, Quebec and B.C. are still not collecting the data that would identify which communities are most at risk, or why they are at risk, despite repeated calls to do so.

Source: COVID-19 mortality rate higher in neighbourhoods with more visible minorities: StatsCan

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: