FluWatchers to track COVID-19 across Canada

Canada’s FluWatch program is starting to use a national network of fluwatchers to help tracking COVID-19 and enable public health officials and average citizens to get a glimpse of how the virus is spreading.

FluWatch is Canada’s national surveillance system that monitors the spread of the flu and other flu-like illnesses on an ongoing basis. Flu reports that contain information on flu activity in Canada are posted online every Friday.

You can sign up to become a FluWatcher and receive a weekly 2-question anonymous survey asking if you’ve had a cough or fever. The data is aggregated into a weekly report and mapped so that spikes can be detected.

Locally, residents in Peel Region have access to a COVID-19 dashboard that is updated daily, and publishes weekly epidemiology reports about the spread of the virus. In Brampton, Mayor Patrick Brown has advocated for transparency and accurate information about cases in the city, especially since Brampton has  been deemed a “hot spot” by provincial officials. Premier Ford is quoted recently saying “we measured by postal codes and like I mentioned some areas are lighting up like a Christmas tree.” Peel Public Health released a map that highlights the geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases in Peel.

Peel COVID-19 distribution: May 11 – 24, 2020