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Racialized, lower-income Torontonians bearing heavier burden during pandemic: report

Last Updated Nov 12, 2020 at 8:55 am EDT

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre by appointment only at the Michael Garron Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Thursday, October 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A new report out Thursday by the Toronto Foundation shows just how much the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing inequities.

The Toronto Fallout Report shows racialized and lower income Torontonians are bearing a heavier burden during the pandemic — widening the gap between the rich and the poor.

The report said Black, Latin American and Arab, Middle Eastern or West Asian Torontonians have COVID-19 infection rates at least seven-times higher than white residents.

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It also finds people earning less than $30,000 a year are just over five-times more likely to catch the virus than those making $150,000 or more.

The executive director of the North York Women’s Shelter said the pandemic didn’t create this inequality, but it has magnified it and exploded it into view — adding “nobody who is not white and wealthy wants to go back to the way things were before.”

In Toronto, racialized people make up 52 per cent of the population, but currently account for 79 per cent of the COVID-19 infections.

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