From MPP Goldie Ghamari: Ontario deploys rapid tests to more essential workplaces and settings

The health and well-being of the residents of Carleton, Ottawa & Ontario is my top priority. Please visit my website for the latest information & updates from the Government of Ontario, as well as information regarding upcoming virtual town hall meetings & public consultations.

Recent updates include:                             

  • Ontario investing in wearable contact tracing technology to help protect workers from Covid-19;
  • Ontario expands eligibility for main street relief grant;
  • Expanding Ontario’s meat processing sector;
  • Ontario improving access to the justice system; and
  • Ontario invests in short-term flexible training program

NEWS FROM QUEEN’S PARK

Based on the successful use of rapid tests in select settings across the province, the Ontario government is deploying test kits to more essential workplaces and sectors in order to quickly identify and help stop the spread of COVID-19. Rapid tests are now being used in long-term care homes, retirement homes, congregate care settings, First Nations communities and many essential workplaces.

To enhance protection against COVID-19 variants and support a safe and gradual return to the COVID-19 Response Framework, Ontario has deployed approximately two million rapid antigen tests and 175,000 rapid diagnostic tests to essential workplaces and highly vulnerable settings like long-term care homes and retirement homes. At scale, the province will be deploying approximately one million tests per week across targeted sectors.

In addition to essential workplaces, Ontario is providing rapid antigen tests to other targeted settings across the province as part of its Provincial Antigen Screening Program. This includes:

  • More than 905,000 rapid antigen tests have been deployed to 455 long-term care homes, and going forward, the province will provide approximately 385,000 tests per week for asymptomatic staff, support workers, essential caregivers, students and volunteers.
  • Approximately 220,000 rapid antigen tests have been deployed to 152 retirement homes, and going forward, the province plans to provide up to 118,000 tests per week for asymptomatic staff and essential visitors such as personal support workers or other care providers entering retirement homes.
  • 170,000 rapid tests have been sent to over 160 workplaces, including 30 essential industry sites. As Ontario begins to safely and gradually transition to a revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework the province will continue to deploy rapid testing in workplaces, including up to 300,000 COVID-19 tests per week for asymptomatic staff in key sectors such as manufacturing, warehousing, supply chain, mining, construction and food processing.
  • Working with a broad range of congregate care settings to onboard interested organizations to deploy rapid antigen tests in the coming days and weeks, including to residential mental health, adult and children’s residences, supportive housing and other congregate living settings.

As announced on February 1, Ontario is further expanding asymptomatic and symptomatic testing to schools that are resuming in-person learning. To support school reopening, over 4,000 ID NOW rapid diagnostic tests have been distributed to assessment centres for the rapid testing of symptomatic children in areas where turnaround times for results are above target.

Ontario has rolled out an additional 175,000 ID NOW tests to hospitals and assessment centres in 108 rural and remote communities across the province. This includes deployment to 43 Indigenous sites to support community-led efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to four public health units to use in early outbreak investigations and testing campaigns for vulnerable populations, including the homeless and people living in congregate settings.

The province continues to ensure that anyone who needs a test can get a test and receive their results as quickly as possible. Anyone who falls within the current Provincial Testing Guidance should continue to seek publicly funded testing, available at participating pharmacies, specimen collection centres, and assessment centres. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should get tested at an assessment centre.

OFFICE NOTICE:

In an effort to contain the COVID-19 virus, our Constituency Office went virtual on March 16, 2020. Our location will remain closed until further notice. We are still open & working during regular office hours to answer your calls & emails. If you require assistance on any matter, please contact me at any time. It’s why I’m here. Even if it’s not a provincial issue, I’ll make sure to connect you with the proper office.

– Goldie
Your voice at Queen’s Park

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