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Gerstein Science Information Centre

COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) Information Guide

This guide is a living document. More content will be added as new information and resources become available and as the COVID-19 situation develops. Last updated: Oct 12, 2021

About this guide

" "An info guide for researchers, healthcare professionals, and the general public - a gateway to reliable resources for your many COVID-19 questions.

Save time and get easy access to curated journal literature collections, pre-made searches in health databases, point of care tools, global datasets, helpful definitions, mythbusters, and more. Updated bi-weekly. 

(Note: This guide will not be regularly updated in during from mid-Oct/Nov 2021, but will return to its regular schedule of bi-weekly updates in Dec 2021)

What is COVID-19?  |  Where is COVID-19? 

 Tracking Variants  |  Tracking COVID-19 over time

Tracking testing  |  Tracking vaccination


What is COVID-19?

" "COVID-19 is an illness first detected in Wuhan, China and reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Dec 31, 2019.  It is caused by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (also known as SARS-CoV-2 or 2019-nCoV).  The outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 20, 2020.

On February 11 2020, the WHO announced a name for the new coronavirus disease: COVID-19.  On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the outbreak to be a pandemic, the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus.

(Source: WHO Rolling Updates on Coronavirus & Timelines: WHO's Timeline of Response)  |  Updated Aug 13, 2020)

Image source: Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 by NIAID, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Where is COVID-19?

Note: The dashboards below (for international and Canadian statistics) are live and may take a moment to fully load .

if something isn't viewable, simply refresh the page to reconnect them, or try another browser, like Chrome.


" "Developing a data analysis or visualization? 
Check out the Datasets section, which includes datasets, mapping and visualization resources
Check out the Creating COVID-19 Data Visualizations section for best practices on how to communicate your data more effectively


Live Outbreak Tracker - International

About this dashboard. Reference: Dong E, Du H, Gardner L. An interactive web-based dashboard to track COVID-19 in real time. Lancet Infect Dis; published online Feb 19, 2020.

Live Outbreak Tracker - Canada

About this dashboard. Developed by Jean-Paul R. Soucy & Isha Berry, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Updated daily.

Live Outbreak Tracker - Canada

About this dashboard.Provided by ESRI Canada.

Tracking Variants

Tracking COVID-19 over time

About this dashboard. Developed by Ashleigh Tuite and David Fisman, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Non-profit organization run by engineering, computer science, and molecular genetics students at the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, the University of New Brunswick, and McMaster University.

Includes a self-reporting tool with symptom, clinical, socio-demographic, and COVID-19 exposure/testing result data, including a heat map.


Tracking testing

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Statistics and Research - Our World in Data

Current data source is the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC); was sourced from WHO until March 18, 2020

Also includes global cases, global fatalities, and testing estimates.

Tracking vaccination

COVID-19 Vaccination Tracker - Canada

More about this dashboard. N. Little. COVID-19 Tracker Canada (2020),

Compiled by Canadian volunteers, including undergraduates from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Toronto. Data sources from provincial government data. Includes vaccine administration gap tracking.