Ontario to Reveal New COVID-19 Testing Strategy to Gauge Phased Reopening

imageOntario will reveal a new phase in its COVID-19 testing strategy today, as it tries to perform more tests to gauge the province’s phased reopening.

Officials including the president and CEO of Ontario Health, the head of Ontario’s testing approach, and the chief of medical microbiology at the Public Health Ontario lab are set to hold a briefing on the new strategy.

Ontario has struggled on several occasions to meet its daily testing goals.

Most recently, the province had said it would do 16,000 tests per day in May, but has met that goal less than half of the time.

Levels dropped sharply once a blitz of nearly all long-term care residents and staff was completed over the long weekend, but they have picked up again in recent days after Ontario relaxed criteria for members of the public to be tested.

Anyone concerned they may have been exposed to COVID-19 can now get tested, whether or not they have symptoms.

Premier Doug Ford has spoken about testing asymptomatic front-line health-care workers, large workplaces such as food manufacturing facilities, groups such as truck or taxi drivers, and doing a second round of testing in long-term care.

He said mass testing is the province’s best defence against the virus.

Ontario reported completing 17,615 tests Thursday. The province currently has a daily capacity of nearly 25,000.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2020.

Ontario will reveal a new phase in its COVID-19 testing strategy today, as it tries to perform more tests to gauge the province’s phased reopening.

Officials including the president and CEO of Ontario Health, the head of Ontario’s testing approach, and the chief of medical microbiology at the Public Health Ontario lab are set to hold a briefing on the new strategy.

Ontario has struggled on several occasions to meet its daily testing goals.

Most recently, the province had said it would do 16,000 tests per day in May, but has met that goal less than half of the time.

Levels dropped sharply once a blitz of nearly all long-term care residents and staff was completed over the long weekend, but they have picked up again in recent days after Ontario relaxed criteria for members of the public to be tested.

Anyone concerned they may have been exposed to COVID-19 can now get tested, whether or not they have symptoms.

Premier Doug Ford has spoken about testing asymptomatic front-line health-care workers, large workplaces such as food manufacturing facilities, groups such as truck or taxi drivers, and doing a second round of testing in long-term care.

He said mass testing is the province’s best defence against the virus.

Ontario reported completing 17,615 tests Thursday. The province currently has a daily capacity of nearly 25,000.

 
   

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2020.

 

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