Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will back efforts across provinces and territories to expand the capacity for coronavirus testing, contact tracing and data sharing.
On Friday, the prime minister pointed to Ottawa's efforts to up contact tracing. Civil servants recruited for contact tracing can currently make 3,600 calls per day, seven days per week, while Statistics Canada has deployed 1,700 interviewers that can make up to 20,000 calls on a daily basis.
Trudeau says that Ontario has already reached out to Ottawa for help.
"From the beginning of this crisis, all orders of government have been working together to protect Canadians. The next phase of our collaboration will focus on testing, contact tracing and data sharing - and as I've said to my colleagues right across the country, the federal government will be there to support, facilitate and fund that work," said Trudeau. "It's important for Canadians as it is for businesses to know that we are cooperating in order to step up the testing and contact tracing."
Provinces and territories combined are testing fewer than 30,000 Canadians every day — less than half the available testing capacity that chief public health officer Theresa Tam has said should be the target.
- with files from The Canadian Press
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is slated to provide an update on the COVID-19 situation in Canada at 10:30 a.m. today from Ottawa.
It is expected that Trudeau will be under pressure to unveil more details on how the federal government will help provinces scale up their COVID-19 testing.
The lack of testing is particularly problematic in Ontario. The province has fallen short of its goal of 16,000 tests per day, with the province completing 10,506 tests on Tuesday.
Village Media will carry the livestream, so stay tuned.