Ontario changes COVID-19 testing rules

Ontario changes COVID-19 testing rules

The province says more pharmacies will offer testing in the coming weeks. "We've always had a worry about if there's too much testing. how is that going to impact on those who really, truly need the testing because they are symptomatic or have had a high risk of exposure".

Both Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott were careful to note that nobody showing symptoms of COVID-19 would be refused a test.

Niagara has three assessment centres for testing.

"Starting today, we're asking people to only get a test [at assessment centres] if you have COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed to a confirmed case or a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak".

The provincial government plans to invest $1.07B in Ontario's COVID-19 testing and case and contact management strategy.

Quebecers are being urged to limit their social contact and Ontario is trying to get a handle on its testing backlog, while Alberta's top doctor says she doesn't believe a second wave of COVID-19 and tougher restrictions are foregone conclusions.

After opening up testing this summer to everyone who wanted it - regardless of whether they could actually even have come into contact with the virus - public health officials are now asking the latter group to refrain from visiting assessment centres.

According to a breakdown of cases by health unit, 313 of today's cases (77 per cent) were reported by four of Ontario's 34 health units.

COVID-19 cases have been reported at 52 schools with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board, Ottawa Catholic School Board, and the French public and catholic school boards. The closest pharmacy to Northern Ontario is in Huntsville. The health unit has reported 32 cases.

Ontario completed 35,436 coronavirus tests Tuesday, and as of Wednesday 48,079 cases were under investigation which includes those awaiting test results. There are five known active cases.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to grow in the 6ix.

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at the Toronto General Hospital, described Ontario's move as a "smart pivot" given the reality in Ontario's labs.