Oct 14, 2020

By Christine Ross

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The province is hiring up to 600 new contact tracers and case managers as part of its COVID fall preparedness plan. Premier Ford says testing wait times and backlogs are down.
“We’re kicking everyone’s butt on testing, we’re almost 4.5 million tests out there working collaboratively with the federal government,” said Ford.

Ford says 50 more pharmacies will offer COVID testing this week, in addition to the 100 now offering the tests across the province.
And if you’re having trouble getting a flu shot at your local pharmacy, no need to panic. Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott says there is no shortage, it’s just a matter of getting it to high risk groups first.
“We started receiving shipments, and we expect a large one to arrive tomorrow, but the first shipments went to hospitals, to long term care homes and retirement homes because we wanted to protect those individuals first because they are vulnerable,” Elliott told reporters. “But we are shipping as well to primary care physicians, nurse practitioners as well as to pharmacies so the supplies are coming in.”
Meantime, the province is reviewing guidelines for SPIN classes and other fitness centres after a COVID outbreak at a Hamilton spin studio.
Ontario associate medical officer Dr. Barbara Yaffe says it’s difficult to follow public health guidelines in these types of settings. Gyms are currently closed in the three COVID hotspots.
Dr. Yaffe also says she’s following up with Ontario Health after hearing some family members being denied to visit the bedside of a loved one dying from COVID-19.
“To get communication out to all the hospitals in Ontario to remind them that in the situation that when someone is dying and is palliative, family members should be allowed to visit with proper precautions,” said Dr. Yaffe.

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