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Ontario has significantly increased testing and contact tracing capacity, allowing health experts to identify cases of COVID-19 and support efforts to stop the spread of the virus in the community, long-term care homes, and other congregate settings. In partnership with Ontario Health, Public Health Ontario, local public health units, and hospital and community laboratories, the Ontario government has developed an integrated laboratory system.

"We're now exceeding our target of 16,000 tests a day, with many of those tests aimed at protecting our long-term care residents and staff," said Premier Ford.

Testing is being carried out in hospitals, long-term care homes, group homes, shelters, emergency child care centres, and other congregate settings. Once test samples are collected and received from frontline staff, patients, residents and children, labs are providing test results generally within 24 to 48 hours. On May 2, 2020, the province released updated guidance to the health sector to ensure consistency across the province, and to help guide decision-making on the testing of priority population groups.

To date, Ontario has conducted over 342,000 tests, with testing results being made available to patients through the online portal. The portal was developed to help ease pressure on frontline workers.

The new integrated laboratory system will support the province's health care system and laboratory network far beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The provincewide testing network consists of more than 20 organizations and is coordinating and leveraging the diverse expertise located throughout the province.

Ontario has also helped expand the capacity of public health units to conduct contact tracing and case management, providing $100 million in additional investments for public health units to support COVID-19 monitoring and testing, including funding to to hire more personnel for enhanced contact tracing.  Thousands of retired nurses and medical students have signed up through the province's website for this wrk.

source: media release, Government of Ontario


 

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