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Ontario plan for sectoral COVID-19 testing includes construction

Ontario plan for sectoral COVID-19 testing includes construction

TORONTO — The Ontario government has laid out a detailed “enhanced plan” for COVID-19 testing that includes future collaboration with sectors such as construction and possibly even vans or buses that would visit specific workplaces and test workers on site.

The plan, released May 29, includes testing, “aggressive” tracking and tracing of contacts and “population surveillance” to provide ongoing evidence on which to base future policy.

“Working alongside Ontario Health, Public Health Ontario, assessment centres and public health units, the province is building a comprehensive post-peak plan to enhance surveillance and testing across the province,” the plan document stated.

Under a category of testing called Targeted Campaigns, the Ministry of Health would work collaboratively with sector leaders to establish plans to test essential workplaces, including construction sites.

The province now has 131 assessment centres in place and over 20 labs.  

The plan contained a calendar of prioritized categories of populations for which the first phase of testing would be undertaken, including long-term care homes, first responders, LCBO employees, some hospital workers and workers in correctional facilities.

That phases started the week of May 25 and will continue for two weeks.

The next phase would include the construction sector among populations and settings that “will be considered and incorporated into the testing plan, working closely with the community, businesses and stakeholders.”

The plan indicated the first phase of Find and Contain management of the pandemic was to be completed at the end of May.

The next phase is Monitoring and Screening, post-peak, in June and July; followed by Ongoing Suppression, from August onwards.

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