Ontario has Significantly Increased Testing and Contact Tracing Capacity

Published on May 04, 2020

The government recognizes how important testing is in defeating COVID-19.  The sooner we can identify cases, the sooner we can act, contain cases and stop the spread, the sooner we can save more lives.  The collaborative work the government has done in partnership with Ontario Health, Public Health Ontario, local public health units, and hospital and community laboratories, to build significant testing capacity is helping to identify cases of COVID-19 and support efforts to contain and limit community spread.

Ontario has integrated our laboratory system in a way that the province had never done before. Ontario is now a leader in Canada in daily testing volumes per capita.  The government has enhanced our testing strategy to proactively test several priority groups and expand testing and lab capacity.

  • On April 30, 2020, the province surpassed its target of 16,000 tests, far exceeding and meeting our target for May 6
  • To date (May 3), Ontario has conducted over 342,000 tests with testing results being made available to patients through the user-friendly online portal, developed to help ease pressure on frontline workers and allowing them to focus their efforts on combatting COVID-19.

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 read more on increasing testing capacity, click here.