Feds to help the provinces with testing, contact tracing

COVID-19 tests

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will fund provinces' efforts to test people for COVID-19, track the contacts of those who test positive, and help different jurisdictions share data.

Trudeau says the measures are essential because COVID-19 remains a serious health threat and the economy can't fully recover until Canadians are confident that the novel coronavirus will be contained anywhere new it breaks out.

He says federal contact-tracers are helping public health authorities in Ontario and are ready to make thousands more calls a day when any province asks.

He says Ottawa will also provide necessary materials to make sure provinces are able to do the tests.

Canada nominally has the capacity to test 60,000 people per day, but has been averaging only about 28,000.

The prime minister says the government is still working to find out exactly what help the provinces need most.