Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the province is now leading the country in daily testing volume per capita. This comes as Ontario surpassed a 16,000 tests-per-day target and has now completed 342,000 COVID-19 tests.
Premier Ford suggests that the province’s testing strategy “gives him confidence” that other portions of the economy can be reopened. The Ontario government allowed certain businesses and workplaces to reopen Monday.
Ford says Ontario is a “national leader” in daily testing volumes
A media release sent out Monday said the Ontario government has developed an integrated laboratory system which has established the province as a national leader in daily testing volumes per capita.
“We’ve been working around the clock to establish a vast and robust testing regime, which is critical in our fight against this deadly virus,” said Ford. “We’re now exceeding our target of 16,000 tests a day, with many of those tests aimed at protecting our long-term care residents and staff. This important milestone provides a strong foundation for gradually reopening our economy and getting people back to work, while protecting the health and safety of all Ontarians.”
Ford says labs are providing test results generally within 24 to 48 hours. Also during his daily briefing, Ford called for a national contact tracing strategy.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says the province is now considering “COVID-free” hospitals to allow for more elective surgeries to resume.
There have been at least 52,700 cancelled or postponed procedures in Ontario since the pandemic began – according to Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office.
Minister Elliott previously acknowledged that 35 people may have died of cardiac arrest because of deferred surgeries. She also said that lives may have been lost due to postponed cancer surgeries as well.
Number of cases reported Monday
Ontario confirmed 370 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, a dip from Sunday’s numbers. The provincial total of COVID-19 cases now stands at 17,923. The updated numbers include 84 more deaths, bringing the total to 1,300, while resolved cases jumped from 12,005 to 12,505.
No decision on school year yet
Premier Ford says a decision on the rest of the school year has not been made yet. “We really have to monitor distance learning to ensure its effectiveness, I believe students in grades 6 to 12 are getting it,” said Ford.