Spatial and social patterning of COVID-19 prevention and transmission in Canada: exploring risk perception, preventive behaviour and individual activity space

Authors: Lu Wang, Ryerson University, Dongmei Chen , Queen's University, Jie Yu*, Ryerson University, Lixia Yang, Ryerson University
Topics: Health and Medical
Keywords: COVID-19, Canada, spatial patterning, social determinants of health.
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 16
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


As the most populous metropolitan area and the largest immigrant gateway in Canada, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has been a significant receiving geography of COVID-19. This study examines the relationships among risk perception, preventive behaviour and individual activity space, and how these relationships are mediated by population mobility, transnational ties, ethno-cultural background and socioeconomic status, during different stages of the outbreak in the GTA. The study captures three key stages (early outbreak, peak, reopening) during the first wave of COVID-19, and examines the temporal dimension of risk perception, prevention behavior and activity space changes. Using secondary data (Toronto Public Health and census) and data collected from on-line and telephone surveys, this paper presents preliminary findings on the spatio-temporal pattern of COVID-19, the impacts of COVID-19 on ethno-cultural groups, and the changes in individual mobility and activity. Descriptive statistics and spatial visualization show important roles of neighbourhood context and SED factors (age, employment status, ethnicity, immigration status, education and income) in shaping the various patterns of risk perception, prevention and spatial mobility among the diverse groups in the GTA. The study sheds light on the social and ethno-cultural dynamics in responding to pandemic in times of COVID-19.

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