As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge in Brampton, an area in the city’s northeast corner tops the list of 30 GTA neighbourhoods with an alarmingly high-test positivity rate. Another area in Toronto wasn’t far behind.

The Toronto-based research group ICES has released a list of the 30 GTA neighbourhoods with the highest positivity percentage for the week of November 1-7.

The positivity rate in the Brampton area north of Queen Street East and east of Airport Road is 19 per cent — a rate double that of the U.S.

Data analyzed by ICES also finds a neighbourhood in Toronto’s northwest, in the Jane and 401 area, has a test positivity rate of 18.7 per cent.

In third place is a neighbourhood in Mississauga right by Toronto Pearson Airport, with a rate of 16.9%, with another Brampton area holding a 16.8% infection rate.

The Toronto neighbourhood around Thorncliffe Park comes in fifth place with 15.2%, with a northeast Scarborough neighbourhood having 14.9%, tying with the Jane and Finch area.

All 30 neighbourhoods represented in the ICES dashboard have a test positivity rate above nine per cent. Fourteen of them are in Toronto, 13 are in Peel, two are in York and one is in Halton.

These numbers are broken down by postal codes to get an even more detailed look at the most severely impacted neighbourhoods.

A senior scientist at ICES told the Toronto Star these numbers are shocking. He said they wanted to highlight that certain areas have very high numbers so people who live there are aware. Some officials might also look at the map and push for more targeted public health measures rather than a provincial approach, he added.

By linking COVID-19 test results from the Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS) database to health and other administrative data from the ICES data repository, ICES provides rich information on the demographics and medical histories of individuals who are tested. This information is accessible to health system stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health and Public Health Ontario, clinicians, researchers and the public.

The dashboard is updated on a weekly basis using timely data provided by ICES’ data partners.

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