These maps show Toronto’s current COVID-19 hot spots are not where you think they are.
You may have heard that COVID-19 clusters around downtown Toronto’s hotels, bars and restaurants – the ones where the first cases emerged. Now you may know where (or are at least beginning to think where) the hot spots are, but now you really need look no further than the city’s subway stations.
A report released Wednesday by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) reveals the subway system is in fact one of the hot spots for coronavirus.
“The subway network continues to play a vital role in public health in Toronto under our new direction,” said TTC chair Karen Stintz in a statement.
“The new data shows that the subway remains a hotbed of COVID-19 activity with some people having been in close contact with others on trains or platforms. This is why it is important to continue the TTC’s work to keep our riders as safe as possible, continue to make improvements and make sure we have the most up-to-date health and safety measures in place.”
The TTC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The department released the study Wednesday as part of its Coronavirus Strategy.
The TTC report also shows that the vast majority of subway stations are not hot spots for COVID-19, but rather those where the virus doesn’t spread quickly, says Dr. David Deane, co-author of the report.
So, these maps show the subway’s hot spots.
For each station, it shows the number of cases detected among the two primary populations: all passengers and at least one person travelling to or from the station on Jan. 29, 2020.
The data is based on more than 10,000 tests performed on a total of 8,270.
“We know that people are getting infected in places where they have not been exposed. We need to do a better job of identifying where a high-risk population is being impacted from COVID-19,” Deane said.
“This is a snapshot of how COVID-19 is evolving in Toronto, and the TTC’s report is an important analysis of the data.
“It is also an important tool to help the city and TTC leadership