Ford demands more COVID-19 testing

Ford demands more COVID-19 testing

She says new guidelines for testing are coming and Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott has said she will soon announce plans for more testing of the most vulnerable populations, including residents of nursing and retirement homes, some of which have been devastated by COVID-19 outbreaks.

Toronto health officials confirmed an additional 199 new cases of COVID-19 and five new deaths on Thursday, pushing the total number of cases in the city to 1,769.

Dr. David Williams also says that anyone newly admitted to a long-term care home should be tested, as well as residents - even asymptomatic ones - who have had contact with a confirmed case.

Thursday's report marks a 9.2 per cent increase in cases, compared to 11.6 per cent on Wednesday, 8.7 per cent on Tuesday, 7.7 per cent on Monday, 11.2 per cent on Sunday, 11.5 per cent on Saturday and 16.5 per cent on Friday.

Ford says he has stayed out of the way of the Doctors and medical experts that have been advising him and he understood that there weren't enough assessment centres and reagent for the test kits but, "We have them now".

Ontario has confirmed COVID-19 in 740 people aged 80 or older, and 120 have died.

The need for more testing has become apparent as cases continue to increase. De Villa said that while the decision was hard, the choice to limit family and friends from visiting their loved ones in long-term care homes was essential. Ford announced Wednesday that the province is extending hours of construction on critical health-care infrastructure projects, such as assessment centres and temporary structures that hospitals are preparing in the event of COVID-19 patient surges.

He said Ontario is testing fewer people per capita than any other province.

There are now at least 58 long-term care homes with one or more cases of COVID-19.

Rather "than just producing numbers", the testing will be focused on preventing deaths, especially at long-term care facilities, he said.

De Villa simply stated that outbreaks at these facilities happen "through people", including those who visit long-term care homes and the staff that works there. Thirteen staff have tested positive.

Economic uncertainty from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused the value of building permits issued across Canada to decrease in March, according to figures from Statistics Canada (StatCan).

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