BIPOC Manitobans face disproportionate rates of COVID-19 infection, report finds

From the CBC News article:

…University of Toronto public health professor Andrew Pinto has advocated for provinces to collect data on race and ethnicity.

“I think it’s really significant that we have this data now, and it’s also the start in Canada in many ways of being comfortable around collecting data on race and ethnicity and Indigenous identity, and starting to really look at the issue of systemic racism through the routine collection of data — in this case as part of COVID, but also start thinking about this beyond COVID,” he said.

Now that the data has  been collected, it remains to be seen what the province does with it.

“I think that this data for Manitoba fits what we’re seeing in other jurisdictions, from the UK to the US to other parts of Canada, which is that COVID is often racialized and is disproportionately affecting certain communities. They put at the start, that this is systemic racism, and really good to see that. and also this is about a bigger context,” Pinto said.

Some factors listed in the report that may increase the risk of infection for racialized people include employment — working in essential services, not having paid sick leave — as well as higher rates of underlying health conditions, inadequate and overcrowded housing, stress caused by systemic racism and discrimination, and barriers to accessing health care and social services.

Other factors that otherwise have effects on health and well-being, such as family and cultural gatherings, strong social networks and communal living, also contribute to higher risks of infection.

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