Barrie manufacturer to retool with provincial funds as Queen’s Park urges us to be vigilant in the face of a second COVID wave

Many COVID-positive patients didn't receive proper contact tracing, Health Minister hopes they followed up online

A second wave of COVID-19 is a distinct possibility, and Ontario Premier Doug Ford says we must remain vigilant. That’s why they’re supporting business retooling efforts across the province and right here in Barrie.

Premier Doug Ford highlighted the need for continued PPE production during his Tuesday update

The Premier used his daily COVID-19 update to highlight how Ontario manufacturers continue to ramp up production of personal protective equipment ahead of this projected second wave. “Our entrepreneurs, businesses, and workers are stepping up and unleashing the full strength of Ontario’s manufacturing might ― sometimes doubling or tripling their output and working modern-day miracles in the fight against COVID-19,” said Premier Ford.

Southmedic to receive provincial retooling funds

During the update, the Ford Government recognized the contributions of Barrie-based Southmedic. The device manufacturer is one of the thousands of businesses across Ontario to answer the call for more PPEs. The province announced it is contributing $1.8 million to Southmedic to aid in re-engineering and retooling its current production line, and purchase new equipment. With the proper tools in place, the company is expected to at least double its output of medical grade oxygen masks.

“Rapid changes have called for ingenuity, and incredible effort has been put forth to keep up with the needs of our communities,” said Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. “I want to thank the team at Southmedic for coming forward to collaborate on innovative solutions while supporting our front line workers and the people in our communities.”

The Barrie-based manufacturer is hiring. Southmedic is offering positions as molding process technicians and material handlers. Details on how to apply can be found on the company’s website.

Hundreds of COVID cases went without contact tracing

Queen’s Park addressed word today that several hundreds of GTA-based cases of COVID-19 did not receive the proper contact tracing necessary, following a clerical error that saw labs and hospitals fail to communicate positive test results.

Health Units were unable to follow up on contacts made by those who were COVID-positive following a clerical error

Health Minister Christine Elliott said many of the people who tested positive in this circumstance were told to follow up online to learn the results of their tests. It is her hope those who did would have self-isolated without coming into further contact with the public at large.

RELATED: PUBLIC HEALTH ONTARIO CONFIRMS BUMP IN NEW CASES AS IT ADDS 446

On Tuesday, Public Health Ontario announced over 446 new positive COVID-19 tests, as numbers continue to rise. Health officials were unable to hit Ontario’s one-day testing goal, falling just over 700 tests short of the mark; over 10,000 tests remained in backlog.