The Ontario government reported 344 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday—40 fewer cases than reported on Thursday. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the province to 27,210, including 2,230 deaths (an increase of 41 deaths from the previous report), and 20,983 recoveries.
On Thursday, Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province is watching the numbers closely before they move to Stage 2 of re-opening the economy.
“I think we still need to have another week at least go by to see the numbers before we can contemplate going into Stage 2,” Elliott said.
Meanwhile, the province has released its new testing strategy for COVID-19, which includes a plan to test residents and staff at long-term care homes, retirement homes, and other congregate settings (i.e., corrections facilities, shelters), workers at essential workplaces, and the general population.
Ontario has completed 680,687 thus far (the province has the capacity to conduct 20,000 tests per day). A total of 18,525 tests were processed yesterday—the highest number of tests Ontario has conducted in a 24-hour period since May 8.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is urging residents who are asymptomatic, but who believe they may have been exposed to the disease, to be tested at an assessment centre.
“If you have no symptoms, you feel you’ve been around groups, you feel you’re nervous you might have COVID-19, please go get tested,” Ford said in his daily press brief on Wednesday.
The province will also conduct community-based testing in high-risk areas, including in the GTA.
The Scarborough Health Network, in partnership with Toronto Public Health and the Ministry of Health, is launching pop-up COVID-19 assessment centres across five locations in Scarborough this weekend, to increase access to COVID-19 testing for all community members, and essential workers who have symptoms of COVID-19—or anyone who thinks they may be infected (even without symptoms).
— SHN Foundation (@SHNFoundation) May 29, 2020
Visit Public Health Ontario for more information on COVID-19 testing.