The Ontario government is investing big money for the largest provincial testing initiative in Canada by providing $1.07 billion for expanding COVID-19 testing, case, and contact management.

Apart from that, the government is focusing majorly on investing $30 million for priority sectors including long-term care homes, retirement homes, and schools. These investments are expected to go a long way for the province to buckle up for a second wave of COVID-19.

“We’ve put over $1 billion on the table to help track, trace and isolate cases of COVID-19 through the largest and most robust pandemic testing initiative in the country,” said Premier Ford recently. “By ramping up our daily testing capacity to 50,000 tests and closely monitoring our long-term care homes and schools, we can quickly respond to any outbreaks and surges and stop the spread of this deadly virus in its tracks.”

Monitoring public health trends carefully and investing in virtual services infrastructure is one of the major priorities of the government as the race of COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t seem to be revealing any real results.

“As part of our plan to ensure the health system’s readiness for future waves of COVID-19, our government is dramatically expanding our testing capacity, launching more testing locations and adding more case and contact management resources to trace and isolate new cases,” said Minister Elliott. “In doing so, we will also support long-term care homes, schools and hospitals to effectively prevent, track and contain outbreaks of COVID-19.”

Here is how Ontario government has maintained public health measures for testing and case and contact management till now:

  • Providing a provincial COVID-19 lab network with 40,000 daily test capacity
  • Setting up over 150 assessment centres;
  • Testing long-term care home residents and staff to prevent outbreaks
  • Providing 1,700 extra contact tracers for contact followups
  • Launching a new, custom-built case and contact management digital system to improve data quality and timeliness and eliminate the use of the multiple tools being used across the province and the integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS) for COVID-19;
  • Launching COVID Alert, the COVID-19 exposure app currently being used by more than 7 million people

While there is a definite need to provide more assistance to affected communities and families, the move to digital healthcare and the launch of new virtual services has made a positive impact in Ontario’s fight during the pandemic.

To learn more about digital health solutions that organizations are adopting in Ontario, click here.

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