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COVID-19 Update: October 6

October 6, 2020

Please see below the most recent updates on the federal and provincial governments’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal:

  • The Federal Government has purchased 20.5 Million antigen rapid tests that can identify a person with COVID-19 almost instantly. 
  • The tests still require a swab from the nose of the person being tested. But instead of the swab  being sent to a laboratory to be analysed the test can produce a positive or negative result immediately.
  • In announcing the acquisition, Anita Anand, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, said the new tests will enhance but not replace the standardized testing currently in use. Instead, she said they will “diversify” testing procedures.  She also said the new tests will enable an additional 200 thousand tests per day across Canada by the end of the year.

Provincial:

  • The province reported 548 new COVID-19 cases today.  According to Tuesday’s provincial report, 201 new cases were recorded in Toronto, 90 in Peel Region, 62 in Ottawa, 56 in York Region, 30 in Halton Region and 21 in Waterloo Region.  All other public health units in Ontario reported 20 or fewer cases.
  • Today, the Premier and Health Minister announced that the province had conducted 4 million COVID-19 tests.  The province plans to continue building capacity to process 50,000 daily tests by mid-October and 68,000 daily tests by mid-November to ensure readiness to effectively respond to any surges in cases or outbreaks.

“Reaching four million tests in Ontario demonstrates clearly that we are a national leader in testing capacity, however there is much more work to be done,” said Minister Elliott. “That’s why, as part of our COVID-19 fall preparedness plan, our government is investing $1.07 billion to dramatically expand our testing capacity, launch more testing locations and add more case and contact management resources to trace and isolate new cases. We want to ensure that everyone who needs a test can get one quickly.”

Questions:

  • When asked about the perceived mixed messaging regarding kids going to school, social bubbles, going to restaurants, or how many people can attend family Thanksgiving, the Premier advised that the province is slowly flattening the curve and encouraged people to stay within their households when it comes to Thanksgiving Dinner.
  • Reporters asked about the difficulty experienced by some in using the new online booking system.  Ontario Health CEO, Matt Anderson said that the online systems in the province’s hotspots were the ones experiencing the most trouble, and he reiterated that they would continue to work with hospitals in these areas to work out any problems with online booking.

James Barry
Executive Secretary Treasurer
IBEW Construction Council of Ontario

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