Ontario to spend $1B more on COVID testing and contact tracing efforts

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Ontario is committing $1B to expand COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott, and Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health. Dr. Barbara Yaffe.

Ford said the announcement will increase testing capacity across the province, but he repeated that Health Canada must approve rapid coronavirus testing kits.

The news comes as long lines are reported at COVID testing centres across Ontario. The government has released new guidelines on who should and should not be tested. Read that here.

Niagara has three assessment centres for testing. Click here for more information.

"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. "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."

"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."