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Toronto’s COVID-19 divide stretches beyond regional boundaries

Toronto’s northwest corner — which has been hardest hit by COVID-19 — is part of a larger hot spot of vulnerability that extends beyond the edges of the city, suggesting a broader regional cluster of high infection rates that defies boundaries and is exploiting socioeconomic inequalities, according to experts and public health data.

Officials are still trying to puzzle out why Toronto’s northwest corner has seen the city’s highest infection rates, and who, exactly, has been impacted most.

…Experts agree that it’s right for public health resources to focus on Toronto’s northwest corner, where COVID rates have been highest, but those efforts must extend beyond the regional border.

“One question is — are we seeing just one (hot spot)? Or are we just seeing the Toronto portion of a larger hot spot?” asks Dr. Stephen Hwang, director of MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital. “Is it truly restricted to that area?”

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