ICES Report on COVID-19 in Immigrants and Refugees in Toronto


The ICES recently published a report on the impact of COVID-19 in Immigrants, Refugees and Other Recent OHIP Registrants in Toronto, data as of November 1, 2020 and trends over time as of November 7, 2020, fully titled "Key findings from ICES Report on COVID-19 in Immigrants, Refugees and Other Recent OHIP Registrants (Guttmann A,
Gandhi S, Wanigaratne S, Lu H, Ferreira-Legere LE. Toronto, ON: ICES; 2020.)".

Some key findings are:

  • Immigrants, refugees and other recent OHIP registrants had higher case rates, a higher percentage of positive COVID-19 tests and lower rates of COVID-testing than Canadian-born and long-term residents.
  • Disparities in testing rates, percent positivity and case rates between immigrants, refugees and recent OHIP registrants to Toronto, compared to Canadian-born and long-term residents, were seen across all age groups, in both males and females.
  • Test positivity and case rates were particularly high in immigrants and refugees from specific world regions, including East and West Africa, the Caribbean and Central America.
  • Social factors and living conditions, including lower income, more crowded housing, lower education, and not speaking English or French were associated with lower testing rates and higher percent positivity.
  • A large number of immigrants and refugees with reported COVID-19 cases were female health care workers. The majority of reported COVID-19 cases among all health care workers and Long-Term Care Home staff were in immigrants and refugees.

For any questions, contact the Toronto Public Health, Epidemiology and Data Analytics Unit,

Resouce Categories