Exploring the Differential Impact of COVID-19 on the Greater Toronto Area: A Literature Review
Keywords:COVID-19, Hotspots, Greater Toronto Area, Transmission, Public Health, Social Inequities
As a large urban centre, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) quickly faced the impact of COVID-19. Certain GTA communities referred to as hotspots suffered the most with greater disease transmission and confirmed cases. This literature review explores the differential impact of COVID-19 on GTA communities with regards to hotspot geography, sociodemographic and socioeconomic factors, minority groups, government action, and vaccine distribution. Geographical mapping of COVID-19 hotspots within the GTA revealed an unequal disease burden. These hotspots included individuals of vulnerable sociodemographic groups and lower socioeconomic status. COVID-19's impact on specific minority groups shows that pre-pandemic inequities have been exacerbated. The Canadian government and its municipalities showed a lack of preparation when handling COVID-19. Likewise, inequitable vaccine distribution was noticed in hotspots. Current literature lacks standardization of case count data across the GTA regions, lacks information on multiple sociodemographic factors, and focuses primarily on the City of Toronto. This review established that the inequal burden of COVID-19 demonstrates the ongoing inequities throughout social structures. To effectively control this pandemic, policymakers should use this information to implement equitable changes.
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