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.
For all those sneering at Brampton's COVID cases let me tell you it's not because of weddings or Diwali. Its because without Brampton there would be no one to staff your hospitals, deliver food, drive your trucks or transit, or staff the Amazon warehouses that you use daily.
— Sav Brar (@savbrar) November 16, 2020
Brampton is a COVID hotspot because we’ve been underfunded and underserved for years.
People here work in factories & transportation. They go to work and face exposure so you’re able to stay home. That’s a fact.
Stop lecturing us & start funding our city properly. #onpoli pic.twitter.com/hMrIOevt45
— Gurratan Singh (@GurratanSingh) November 11, 2020
I cannot wait to drive around Brampton on Christmas Eve and call bylaw enforcement officers to complain about houses with more than 10 people in it. ;)
Instead of "Karen", I'll be "Kiran"
— Harpreet Saini (@SainiLaw) November 15, 2020
I'm really tired of the Brampton slander in general, but especially over COVID.
We're a diverse and rapidly growing working-class town y'all love to point at & laugh, with a nice hint of racism on the side, but we keep on working and dying doing the jobs no one else wants.
— Jaskaran Singh Sandhu (@JaskaranSandhu_) November 9, 2020
Read the reactions to this story & you get variations of "classic Brampton", which tells you a lot because if they actually had read the story they'd learn this has everything to do with socioeconomic reasons.
Brampton is used as a proxy to take shots at racialized communities. https://t.co/pWxJgzUS5Q
— Jaskaran Singh Sandhu (@JaskaranSandhu_) November 17, 2020
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.