Today, Premier Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, released the next phase of the province’s COVID-19 testing plan, Protecting Ontarians Through Enhanced Testing.
Testing will now be available to more people in more locations across the province. People will no longer need a referral to go to any of the more than 130 assessment centres across Ontario. Information about the assessment centres is now easily accessible on Ontario.ca/coronavirus.
- As the province carefully and gradually reopens the economy, our government is implementing the next phase of its COVID-19 testing strategy to detect and quickly contain the spread of the virus.
- This includes three branches of testing: assessment centre testing, targeted campaigns and outbreak management.
1. Assessment Centre Testing:
· Ontario is expanding who gets tested to include asymptomatic individuals concerned about exposure and continued routine symptomatic testing at assessment centres.
· People will no longer need a referral to go to any of the more than 130 assessment centres across Ontario.
· Information about the assessment centres is now easily accessible on Ontario.ca/coronavirus.
2. Targeted Campaigns – Surveillance Testing and Monitoring:
· Ontario will expand proactive surveillance testing to detect outbreaks and more actively monitor any spread among our most vulnerable populations in hospitals, long-term care homes, group homes, shelters, emergency child care centres and other shared living spaces.
· This will include testing of symptomatic and asymptomatic frontline staff in long-term care and retirement homes, as well as working with higher-risk sectors, including first responders, essential workers and other workplaces as the economy gradually reopens.
· Further proactive surveillance testing will also be conducted in rural, remote and Indigenous communities.
· Private-sector workplace testing will leverage private and public resources. The government is working with private-sector employers to develop the appropriate models for each sector and workplace.