Ontario expanding Data collection to help stop spread of COVID-19

The government hopes to get a more complete picture of the outbreak

The province is proposing a regulatory change where individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be asked additional questions about their race, income, languages spoken, and household size.

“We recognize that some Ontarians may be at greater risk of COVID-19 infection. This includes racialized Ontarians and individuals with lower incomes,” said Christine Elliot, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Collecting these data will help guide decisions as work continues to stop the spread of the virus and protect some of our most vulnerable people. “

The government said the expansion of data collection was requested by community leaders and public health experts.

Elliot said this change will allow for the collection of data in a consistent way across the province while ensuring the privacy of Ontarians is protected.

She said collecting data province-wide, and in a standardized way, will ensure a more complete picture of the outbreak is captured.

Individuals who test positive for the virus can choose to answer some or none of the data-related questions.