It is widely assumed that 80 per cent of Canada’s deaths due to COVID-19 occurred among older adult residents of long-term care homes, a proportion double the 40-per-cent average of peer countries… But an in depth analysis of all deaths that have so far been reported across Canada during the pandemic casts doubt on this estimate. It reveals evidence that at least two thirds of the deaths caused by COVID-19 in communities outside of the long-term care sector may have been missed.
…the pandemic mortality burden may be two times higher than reported.
… In fact, our analysis suggests that through the first year of the pandemic, COVID-19 was associated with many deaths that were not classified as such, most likely in low-income, high-density, racialized neighbourhoods of essential workers and recent immigrants where most COVID-19 cases were concentrated. Among these communities it is likely that many cases were never identified, and the resulting deaths were never counted.