76.2 Overall Score (down 1.5 since Aug 1st.)


  • 39.7 Public Health
  • 57.3 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based
  • 39.7 Public Health
  • 57.3 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based

Canada has a relatively strong score, with poor public health policy countered by a continued reliance on fact-based communication.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Canada is relatively strong for its pre-pandemic capacity, as it has widely accessible universal healthcare, minimal inequality, and a very healthy population, but few hospital beds, particularly in comparison to other high-income countries, hurt its score.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 89.9%
  • GDP/capita $52,144
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 33.8
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 4
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 87.6
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 19

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Oct 1.)

Public Health Directives

Canada has released very little emergency healthcare funding and has had a relaxed lockdown, and testing remains limited to very specific groups, making for a public health score around the median.

  • Stay at home order 1
  • Public gathering restrictions 4
  • School closings 2
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 3
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $15.18
  • Travel restrictions 3
  • Tests/1,000 people 194.9
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

Canada offers comprehensive income support for workers, including seasonal workers and the unemployed, but debt forebearance is limited, and its stimulus was relatively small.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 15%
  • Income support 2
  • Debt forebearance 1

Fact-Based Communication

Canada has prioritized clear, regular communication with the public, including daily briefings by Prime Minister Trudeau.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 0
  • Press freedom 0

COVID-19 Status as of Oct 1

Canada’s current status for COVID-19 is relatively strong, with fairly low death and case rates and a very low positivity score, suggesting that it is testing a wide range of people, not just the sickest.

  • Total deaths 9,297
  • Death rate per 100K 246.3
  • Total cases 158,758
  • Cases per 100K 4,206
  • Percent of positive tests 2.1
  • Change in positivity rates +1.3
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown

Differentiating Factors

  • New COVID test for children released: New gargle test for children to speed up testing; Authorities reimpose lockdown measures and gathering restrictions as daily case numbers double again. Read More
  • Implementing penalties for COVID-19 violations: Strictly enforcing COVID-19 rules, the Canadian have arrested and charged an American tourist for violating the Canada Quarantine Act; the accused faces a $560,000 fine. Read More
  • Moving unemployed off emergency benefits: With new cases near zero, the government has proposed a plan to move the unemployed off emergency COVID-19 benefits to an expanded employment insurance program that requires participants to look for a job to qualify. Read More
  • Close coordination: Canada's federal government has worked closely with the provinces, coordinating the purchase and distribution of PPE centrally, and organizing a procurement program to buy tests. Read More
  • Slow to re-open: President Trudeau has been hestitant to re-open the country too quickly, clearly communicating with the public that the country is in an emergency situation and that opening too quickly could send the country back into confinement. Read More
  • Officials modeling healthy behavior: Canadian politicians have united across party lines in their pandemic response, modeling behavior such as social distancing and self-isolation. President Trudeau self-isolated when his wife tested positive for coronavirus, and even populist politician Doug Ford has condemned anti-lockdown protestors. Read More
Compared with Other Western Hemisphere Countries
  • 48.2
    Brazil 4,810,935
    Per 1M

    Brazil has a relatively weak score, primarily due to its poor public health policies, especially its very low levels of testing, coupled with President Bolsonaro’s spreading of misinformation about the virus.

  • 52.8
    Mexico 743,216
    Per 1M

    Mexico's score has deteriorated over time, due primarily to its extremely weak financial response and relatively weak public health policy, including very limited testing.

  • 39.1
    United States 7,233,043
    Per 1M

    Still battling widespread COVID-19 cases and deaths, which were exacerbated by the former administration's limited use of facts and science, limited emergency healthcare spending, and limited debt relief, the Biden administration, by contrast, is taking aggressive action to combat the virus, although it may take time for the score to reflect these changes.

  • 76.2
    Canada 158,758
    Per 1M

    Canada has a relatively strong score, with poor public health policy countered by a continued reliance on fact-based communication.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

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New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • Debt to GDP ratio
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Hospital beds per 1,000 people
  • Gini coefficients measuring inequality
  • Health access and quality

COVID-19 Public Health Directives:

  • Stay-at home orders
  • School-closing policy
  • Public-gathering restrictions
  • Cancellation of public events
  • Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
  • Emergency healthcare spending per capita
  • Travel restrictions
  • Contact tracing

COVID-19 Financial Response:

  • Stimulus package as a share of GDP
  • Income support
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • Instances of misinformation by leadership
  • Limitations on press freedom, censorship

Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:

  • Death rates per 1 million
  • Case rates per 1 million