Ontario has completed over four-million tests since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the highest number of tests completed in Canada and more than all the provinces combined.
“Today, we should all be proud of the fact that Ontario has completed over four-million COVID-19 tests, more tests than all the provinces combined across the entire country,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford at today’s briefing. “Having this critical capacity will ensure we are able to track, trace, and isolate the deadly invisible enemy we face through the second wave.”
The government plans to build on the success to ensure Ontario’s healthcare system is resilient during the second wave of COVID-19. It plans to by continuing to add more testing location, improving wait times, and increasing processing capacity across the province.
The province has worked together with Ontario Health, Public Health Ontario, public health units, hospital and community laboratories, to develop an integrated laboratory system.
At the start of the pandemic, Ontario was conducting approximately 4,000 tests a day, and as of yesterday, it hit a new record with over 42,000 tests completed. The province is on its way to building the capacity to complete 50,000 tests per day by mid-October and 68,000 tests per day by mid-November. Ontario has also reduced its testing backlog by 40 per cent since last week.
The province is expand testing capacity, launch more testing locations, and improve contact management resources. There are currently 77 pharmacies offering testing to asymptomatic people, and more will open in the coming weeks. Additionally, assessment centres have shifted to online booking, to complement telephone booking already being used. Ontario also continues to call on the federal government to approve rapid and point-of-care testing to aid in screening efforts.