Up to 60 pharmacies will be providing COVID-19 testing starting on Friday.
On Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford said the pharmacies will be offering testing by appointment only. Those wishing to receive the test will be pre-screened and then tested at no charge.
“We rely on our pharmacists for our flu shots, prescriptions, and important health advice for ourselves and our families. It makes sense to engage them as key partners in delivering more COVID-19 testing,” said Ford.
“I have to thank Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall, and the independent pharmacies who have stepped up in a big way to help expand testing to more people in the province. With everyone pitching in, we are well on our way to reaching our goal of 50,000 tests a day and stopping the spread of COVID-19.”
The expansion of COVID-19 testing to pharmacies is part of the province’s plan to prepare the health system for a second wave of COVID-19. Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19 will help the province quickly identify, prevent, and respond to any scenario in order to protect communities.
The province also noted that when visiting a pharmacy, residents should continue to follow public health measures, including wearing a face covering, frequent hand washing, and maintaining physical distance from those outside their household or social circle.
On Monday, the premier unveiled the first pillar, which was an investment of $70 million for the flu vaccine, urging everyone to get the shot.
The other pillars will be announced throughout the week and include expansion of testing and case and contact management; quickly identifying, managing and preventing outbreaks; accelerating efforts to reduce health service backlogs; preparing for surges in COVID-19 cases; recruiting, retaining, training, and supporting healthcare workers, and also continuing to engage families and caregivers.