Ontario Increasing Public Health Units’ Capacity to Stop COVID-19
To support public health units’ extensive efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, Ontario is taking further action to redirect existing resources to focus squarely on the fight against this new virus while allowing for public health units to considerably increase their capacity.
Ontario has launched a new user-friendly online portal for the public to easily access their COVID-19 lab test results. With this new portal, patients will be able to access their test results faster from the safety of their home and help reduce the burden on our public health units and frontline health workers, allowing them to focus their efforts where they are needed most during this challenging time.
Ontario is also issuing a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, effective immediately, to provide public health units the authority and flexibility they need to make staffing decisions that support their ongoing fight against the outbreak of COVID-19, despite any collective agreements.
As a result, public health units will be able to significantly expand their capacity to implement critical public health functions, such as case and contact management, through the use of volunteers, including the thousands of retired nurses and medical students who have signed up through the province’s website.
This latest order will support the recommendation made by Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, for all public health units to implement more aggressive contact tracing and management in response to the increase of community transmission.
We are at a critical juncture in our fight against COVID-19. Our success as a province depends on our ability to quickly and effectively stop the spread of this new virus. These actions offer considerable support to our local health units and give them the authority they need to act and contain COVID-19 in our communities.
I am so proud of the people and businesses who are hearing the call to action to help out our fellow Ontarians. Working together is the only way forward. This is the heart of the #OntarioSpirit.
As the situation with COVID-19 evolves, I want to recognize people and businesses making an effort to flatten the curve and help out our frontline healthcare workers.
If you know of a person or business in York-Simcoe that deserves to be recognized for their #OntarioSpirit, please email me at [email protected].
Online Self-Assessment Tool
Ontario has now launched an enhanced and interactive self-assessment tool. This new easy-to-use tool takes the public through a series of questions to inform those who are concerned they may have contracted COVID-19.
In a matter of seconds, this tool will help people determine if they are negative or it will provide them with guidance on where to seek care based on their needs. Critically, the enhanced tool provides the province with real-time data on the number and geography of users who are told to seek care, self-isolate or to monitor for symptoms. This data will help inform Ontario’s ongoing response in order to keep individuals and families safe.
The tool guides individuals through a series of questions and, based on their responses, users are provided clear direction on what action to take. These next steps could include directions such as; continue to practice social distancing; self-isolate; call a primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario; or in the case of symptoms such as severe difficulty breathing or severe chest pain, call 911 or go to the emergency department.
List of essential workplaces
You can find the list of essential workplaces in response to COVID-19 here. If you have questions about what will be open or if the closure of non-essential businesses will impact you, your business or your employment, call the Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
Local Assessment Centres
Simcoe – Muskoka
490 Huronia Road, Barrie. The assessment centre is located in the rear building of the Eagle Ridge complex and is NOT at the Huronia Urgent Care Clinic.
Southlake Regional Health Cente Centre
If you have been advised to visit an Assessment Centre, go to the main entrance of the Emergency Department at Southlake. You will be pre-screened by a nurse who will provide further instruction.
Status of cases in Ontario
The Status of Cases in Ontario web page will be updated with the most up-to-date information on the status of cases in Ontario, every day, seven days a week, at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. ET.