More testing of kids/students for COVID19 will happen, Ontario health minister says

COVID 19 test-BlindTurtle

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott says the province will expand testing of children for COVID19 as school and daycares eventually reopen. 

On Thursday, Premier Doug Ford said he wanted to go beyond just screening teachers and staff of schools and daycares once they're ready to operate again in the fall, but not kids. 

"No, I'm talking about the teachers, caregivers and daycare areas, I want to make sure they get tested," he said. "I want as many people tested as absolutely possible."

But when asked Friday why children and kids wouldn't be included, Elliott said they'd have to. 

"We want to make sure that as we open up the economy, we are making sure that we do testing in all of the right areas and further testing of children will be required," she said. 

Elliott referenced testing at daycare centres being operated for health care families which have experienced outbreaks. 

"That is something we will continue to do if we see an outbreak," she said, adding they would have to be performed by specially-trained nurses and health care workers for kids and parental permission would have to be given. 

On May 14, service resumed at Toronto's Jesse Ketchum Early Learning and Child Care Centre after it closed for two weeks, following 13 staff and eight children testing positive. 

NEWSTALK1010 has asked the Ministry of Health if there would be any impact on admission to a facility if a parent refused a test under certain conditions and to clarify if testing children would happen only in the case of an outbreak. 

The province has already expanded the grounds for kids to get tested, including those experiencing Kawasaki Syndrome symptoms. 

Of the 588,958 tests that have been completed according to the government's coronavirus website, 742 have been for those 19 and under.