Race-based data must be collected to help fight COVID-19, advocates say

August 13, 2020

By CBC News |

Demographic data could help target resources for those in need, but there’s a risk

It’s been suggested by health care professionals and academics that ethnicity is one of the risk factors for COVID-19.

The largest outbreaks in Alberta affected primarily immigrant workers and new Canadians at meat processing facilities in High River and Brooks.

Nearly half of the cases in Calgary can be found east of Deerfoot Trail, in neighbourhoods with larger immigrant populations and higher rates of poverty.

In Ontario, demographic data suggests that minority groups are over-represented in reported cases of the disease. In Alberta, no such data is publicly available, at least not yet.

Human rights advocates, anti-racist groups, researchers and social agencies say the data needs to be collected and shared publicly to ensure those impacted by the disease the most are getting the help they need.

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