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Province Getting Ready to Expand COVID-19 Testing this Fall

The Province is looking to expand COVID-19 testing ahead of the cold and flu season and will start allowing pharmacies to do testing, specifically for Asymptomatic people.

ONTARIO - The Province of Ontario is preparing for the second wave of COVID-19 with more testing. 

A new plan to prepare for the second wave will be released later this week. Deputy Premier and Health Minister Christine Elliott says the Fall Preparedness Plan will be unveiled over a couple of days starting tomorrow.

"We have been enhancing testing and that is one element, we have increased our tests, we have reached 25,000 per day on a regular basis, on Saturday we reached 40,000 tests in one day, which is a record for Ontario. We are well on our way to be able to conduct 50,000 tests per day. Along with that though, you have to have the lab capacity because the testing is only specimen collection so to speak, then you have to have the specimens tested in a lab. So at the same time we are increasing the testing capability, we are increasing the lab capacity as well."

Elliott says one thing they are going to do is open up testing to pharmacies.

"We certainly want everyone who is concerned about COVID-19 to be able to have a test. If you are not feeling well, we want you to be able to go to get a test. We are also looking at expanding our assessment centres, allowing them to have longer hours, we have set up some pop up testing facilities in the areas where the longest lineups are happening. We are also looking at other groups, for example pharmacies to be able to do testing and that would probably be an appropriate place to send people who are Asymptomatic, worried about their situation but not necessarily exhibiting symptoms. Those are the elements we are looking at so that anyone who wants to get a test will be able to get a test." 

High priority groups, including people with symptoms will continue to be prioritized for testing. 

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