Ontario Is Actually Running Fewer & Fewer COVID-19 Tests Since Last Week
That's despite the province setting high targets for test numbers.
A repeated pledge from Ontario's government has been that the province's testing capacity will be greatly increased as time goes on. However, it turns out that the province is reportedly actually running fewer tests each day over the last week or so. Tuesday's update on COVID-19 in Ontario revealed just 2,568 test results announced, compared to over 6,000 less than one week ago.
On April 7, Ontario announced the status of cases in the province as of 4 p.m. on Monday afternoon.
The update announced 379 new cases of COVID-19, taking the provincial total to 4,726. That includes 153 deaths.
Those conclusions were drawn from the 2,568 new results processed since the last update.
According to CBC, the number of tests Ontario is completing on a daily basis has fallen sharply since April 1.
On that day last week, 6,200 new test results were announced. Tuesday's update was less than half of that.
That number of processed tests "is definitely not the curve we want to see flattening," Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa, tweeted in response to the update.
It's been widely suggested by health officials that increased rates of testing are the only way to fully understand the virus's spread and impact.
According to CBC's Mike Crawley, Ontario now has the theoretical lab capacity to run 13,000 COVID-19 tests per day.
And, per CTV News, Ontario’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said on Monday afternoon that the goal is to be able to complete 19,000 tests a day by mid-April.
However, that lofty target seems some way off right now.
Assessment centres dedicated specifically to the virus are only submitting 3,500 tests per day, according to a spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott, via Crawley.
Ontario has, however, according to its own statistics, nearly cleared the backlog of unprocessed cases that once stood at around 11,000 not too long ago.
However, the provincial rate of testing still falls some way behind other Canadian territories. For example, per CP24, Quebec has tested more than 100,000 people to Ontario's 81,000 despite having roughly half the population of its neighbour.
And Premier Doug Ford warned against complacency on Tuesday in a press briefing.
"We should never sit back, this can come with vengeance," he said, per Global News.