Toronto's testing is being expanded. As of Friday, May 29, in the city, random COVID-19 testing pop-ups are appearing in the 6ix and other parts of the province. It's part of a huge overhaul in how the pandemic is monitored in Ontario.
Premier Doug Ford said last week that his province would finally start testing asymptomatic people for the virus, and teased more information this week.
On Friday, that further information arrived.
Random testing had already been announced in Windsor-Essex County but starting Friday, it's coming to the badly-hit area of Scarborough in Toronto, too.
The Scarborough Health Network announced on Thursday that it will be launching five pop-up centres at rotating locations in that part of the city.
SHN notes that "all community members and essential workers who have symptoms of COVID-19 or think they may be infected (even without symptoms) are encouraged to get tested."
The first, at the Islamic Institute of Toronto on Neilson Road, will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.
Two more have already been announced. They will be atWestminster Presbyterian Church on Birchmount Road on Monday, June 1, and at Global Kingdom Ministries on Markham Road the following day.
Scarborough Health Network is opening Pop-up COVID-19 Assessment Centres to increase access to testing for our comm… https://t.co/YDhOWKYJ8k— Scarborough Health Network (@Scarborough Health Network)1590681680.0
Both of those will also run from 9 to 5.
Two more dates and locations will be announced soon, says SHN.
SHN posted a photo of Friday's open pop-up on Twitter showing signage and social distancing measures in place.
#SHNcares pop-up #COVID19 Assessment Centre will be here at @IIT1630 1630 Neilson Road till 5 p.m. today.… https://t.co/yLatKdjNID— Scarborough Health Network (@Scarborough Health Network)1590761379.0
This is the next step in the progression of Ontario's approach to testing.
The province's "monitoring and screening" plan intends to widen checks to a whole range of workplaces and settings, per CP24.
A government news release states: "No Ontarian will be declined a test at an assessment centre (either through appointment or walk-in, per the processes of each individual assessment centre)."
On Friday, Ontario reported 344 new cases but also said it beat its target testing rate for the second straight day.
That afternoon, Ford said in his daily media briefing that based partly on the results of this kind of mobile testing, Ontario may soon move forward with reopening the province region by region.