Ontario Premier Doug Ford says there’s still a lot of work to be done to secure personal protection equipment – despite a deal reached between 3M reached and the White House. “We can’t count on other countries,” said Ford.
“I personally picked up the first batch of made-in-Ontario face masks today,” said Ford. Woodbridge Auto Group’s factory in Vaughan have been making respirator masks they say are equally as effective as 3M’s N95 mask.
“While our government continues to pursue and exhaust every avenue available to secure the PPE needed to fight COVID-19, today marks the beginning of Ontario moving towards greater self-sufficiency on vital supplies that will keep us well equipped now and into the future,” Ford said in a statement.
Ford calls for healthcare reinforcements
Ford also made a rally cry to healthcare workers as the system faces reported shortages and increased outbreaks. At least 51 long-term care homes in Ontario have one or more cases, with at least 69 deaths. Over 500 health-care workers in the province have tested positive, representing about 11 per cent of all of the confirmed cases in the province. Ford says the Ontario government is actively recruiting health care workers through a new online portal, you can access here.
“Our health care heroes on the frontlines of this battle are doing extraordinary work, but they need reinforcements to step up and lend a hand to help defeat this virus,” said Premier Doug Ford. The new online tool will help match skilled frontline workers with employers. The province is looking to match retired or non-active health care professionals, internationally educated health care professionals, students, and volunteers with healthcare experience.
Ontario’s Covid-19 death toll hits 153, number of tests drops
“Whether you’re retired or in training, we can’t afford to have people with professional health care skills who want to help sitting on the sidelines during this crisis. This is a call to action and I encourage every available person with healthcare experience to get involved,” said Ford.
Ontario’s death toll rose to 153 on Tuesday, with 379 confirmed cases of Covid-19. There are now 4,726 cases of the virus confirmed in the province, 614 of which are hospitalized cases and 187 people are on a ventilator. Ford says even as the number of new infections decreases, the province can’t sit back. “COVID-19 could return with a vengeance…the province has to go hard for the next two or three weeks,” said Ford.
The number of tests completed per day in Ontario dropped over the past week from 6,200 test results on April 1st, down to 2,568 today. Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province was targeting 5,000 tests per day by the end of March.