Ontario is Expanding Data Collection for COVID-19

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

If you test positive for COVID-19 you will be asked additional questions about your race, income, languages spoken in your home and household size.

The province announced it is proposing a regulatory change that would require mandatory reporting of data for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. The measure comes in light of recent requests from community leaders and public health experts who recommended this data will help ensure Ontario has a more complete picture of how the outbreak is affecting our communities.

The change will allow for a more consistent approach to collecting data across the province while ensuring the privacy of Ontarians is protected.

Under the proposed changes, if you test positive for the coronavirus infection you will be asked these additional questions but you will be given an option to not answer if you choose to do so. The government ensures that your privacy is protected just like it is for all information collected on other diseases.

Ontario is:

  • Engaging with health equity stakeholders and experts, including the Ontario Anti-Racism Directorate and Indigenous partners, to help implement this data collection effort
  • Making available anonymized data to recognized researchers through the Ontario Health Data Platform, but protecting individuals’ privacy protection is the priority.

The province says it recognizes that certain communities of racialized Ontarians and lower-income individuals will be at greater risk of COVID-19 infections. Collecting these data will help guide decisions as work continues to stop the spread of the virus and protect some of the most vulnerable people.

For more information on the coronavirus  and latest statistics visit the COVID-19 page on Ontario.ca page.