Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlined the safety measures and protocols needed to reopen the economy by boosting COVID-19 testing capacity, contact tracing, and data sharing between jurisdictions.
On Friday, Trudeau said he spoke with all the premiers on Thursday night in the tenth weekly call since the start of the pandemic, focusing on how Canada can safely reopen the economy.
“Canadians have been doing a great job of staying home and listening to public health advice,” Trudeau said. “But we are not out of the woods yet.”
The prime minister emphasized that the virus remains a “serious health threat” and provinces and territories must proceed with caution and listen to science.
First, in order to successfully reopen the economy, there must be a scaling up of testing capacity.
Trudeau said that Canada must identify new cases and isolate them.
The federal government is working with the provinces and territories on getting them reagents and swabs to effectively manage future outbreaks.
Second, Canada must accelerate contact tracing. This means getting in touch with everyone who may have been exposed to the virus so they can isolate and manage themselves.
The prime minister also said to further assist provinces with contact tracing, he will provide federal government employees to help make 3,600 calls a day, seven days a week, to people who may have come in contact with someone infected.
Statistics Canada will also be providing 1,700 interviewers to make 20,000 calls a day.
“These federal resources are available for any surges, backlogs, and challenges. We are already helping in Ontario and stand ready to help anywhere else.”
Lastly, Trudeau mentioned that data collected across jurisdictions must be shared across provinces and territories to help follow the spread of the virus, adapt the response to the spread, and save lives.
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In order for people to move around freely again and get back to their routine, Trudeau said there must be a coordinated approach across the country so Canadians feel safe reopening the economy.
“The federal government is here to facilitate and fund this support by expanding contact tracing and testing. We need to rapidly detect and control the virus for any future outbreaks,” Trudeau said.
So far in Canada, 1,379,731 individuals have been tested for the virus. There are 81,324 total cases with 6,152 reported deaths.