Expanding Case and Contact ManagementPublished on October 14, 2020
Premier Ford and Minister Elliott announced the government is taking immediate action to expand case and contact management to help track, trace, and isolate new cases of COVID-19. The province has hired 100 new contact tracers, many of whom are starting this week, with up to 500 more recruits expected to be hired by mid-November.
These new positions are part the province’s fall preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19, which dedicates $1.376 billion to enhance and expand testing and contact tracing in the province.
We are reaching cases and contacts faster, with 30 public health units reaching 90 per cent of cases within 24 hours. That’s critical to our efforts to contain the spread of this deadly threat and flatten the curve of the second wave.
There are currently more than 2,750 case and contact management staff active across all public health units, tracing and managing COVID-19 cases ― up from approximately 1,500 staff in the spring. These 600 new recruits and 600 personnel from Statistics Canada will bring the total number of case and contact management staff to nearly 4,000.
In recent weeks, the province has seen a dramatic rise in the percentage of people with COVID-19, especially in hotspots like Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel. In response, the province is providing an additional 150 staff to the Ottawa area and over 200 staff are being onboarded in Toronto. The province is also working with Peel and public health units across the province to assist contact tracing efforts through the provincial workforce.
Hiring additional contact tracers and case managers and deploying them across Ontario will significantly boost the province’s response to the surge in cases and keep the most vulnerable safe and schools open.
Ontario has also successfully implemented a centralized Public Health Case and Contact Management (CCM) I&IT System in public health units across the province. This user-friendly system significantly reduces duplication, speeds up processes and allows for more efficient case and contact management work to be completed.
To support Ontario’s case and contact management strategy, the province is encouraging everyone to download the COVID Alert app. The more people who have the app, the more effective the province will be at stopping the spread of COVID-19.
The best way to fight COVID-19 is to continue to follow public health advice that reduces the risk of transmission and helps keep Ontarians safe.
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