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Coronavirus: Ontario says testing guidelines will expand to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Any Ontarian with COVID-19 symptoms can now get tested, Elliott says'
Coronavirus outbreak: Any Ontarian with COVID-19 symptoms can now get tested, Elliott says
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said Thursday that in the past several weeks testing had been done on the judgment of the clinician, but as of Thursday any Ontarian with symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested. She said with the reopening of the economy, this is needed to do more public surveillance testing to know what impact the reopening may have on cases – May 14, 2020

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott says testing guidelines will be expanded so anyone with COVID-19 symptoms can be tested.

“Doing so will help identify and contain new cases and monitor any shifts in community spread to keep Ontarians safe,” Elliott said in a tweet Thursday morning.

READ MORE: Ontario reports 258 new coronavirus cases, lowest number since late March

 

Ontario’s associate chief medical officer of health said the new testing guidelines will have a direct impact on who is tested at the province’s assessment centres.

“Basically, anyone who shows up with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 should be tested,” Dr. Barbara Yaffe said. “Before that it was clearly in the clinician’s power to decide yes or no.”

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Ontario is also launching a workplace personal protective equipment directory, so businesses can find suppliers of the protective gear they will need as they reopen.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Ontario outlines what can restart for Stage 1 of reopening province beginning Tuesday

Elliott also said that the province has nearly completed all long-term care home testing for staff and residents and is looking at expanding testing to other vulnerable populations such as people in retirement homes and shared living spaces like shelters and group homes.

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On Thursday, Premier Doug Ford announced how Ontario will move into the first stage of economic recovery and reopening.

With files from The Canadian Press

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