"Stay tuned" - Ford signals news for pharmacy testing, regions seeing COVID19 spikes coming soon


Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the government plans to make announcements around pharmacy testing and measures to deal with spikes in Ontario regions seeing COVID19 case increases. 

On pharmacies, Ford said last month the government was in discussions with several chains on asymptomatic testing, including Shoppers Drug-Mart. 

On Tuesday, Ford indicated news on how testing would happen should be coming in the next couple of days.

"I'm not going to say that 100 per cent, but I can tell you we're all over it," Ford said, adding he spoke with the CEO of Shoppers earlier in the day, but that there's other pharmacies willing to help. "We're doing everything we can to move this forward rapidly, so just stay tuned over the next or two and we'll have an announcement, I just don't want to announce anything until all the ducks are in a row." 

Shoppers is already doing testing in Alberta and Ford said it should ease the long lineups currently happening at several GTA assessment centres. 

For example, William Osler Health System officials are asking people with no symptoms to hold off on testing if they can with major increases at its lineups, while also adding another testing clinic at Peel Memorial Centre. 

But Ford also said with Ontario's new cases being driven by regions such as Toronto, Ontario and Ottawa, that the government will also be moving forward with measures on how to curb the trend, though did not give specifics. 

"Over the next day or two, we're going to be rolling out annoucements for regions that are affected," he said, adding he has spoken with Ottawa, Brampton and Toronto's mayors for their input. 

It isn't clear if the measures will apply to particular hot spots in those regions, such as the northwest and northeast parts of Toronto, as well as Brampton and Peel, or if it'll be regarding the regions as a whole. 

Health Minister Christine Elliott said they anticipated there would be lineup increases, but "perhaps not to this extent," adding their moving to increase lab testing capacity. 

A day after reporting 313 new cases, Ontario saw an increase of 251 new cases. 

The province also updated its page of outbreaks in schools and daycares, with 27 reporting a case out of 4,828.