Extra staff will focus on clusters and workplace outbreaks
Toronto Public Health (TPH) will be partnering with the Ontario government to increase the case and contact management element of Toronto’s COVID-19 pandemic response, according to a press release issued on Friday.
TPH’s partnership with the provincial government will add 180 contact callers and case managers to focus on the rapid isolation of cases. One hundred additional case managers will focus on the rapid isolation of cases while other staff perform higher risk investigations, including clusters and workplace outbreaks.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said TPH’s case and contact management program is an important tool to combat COVID-19.
“Confronting COVID-19 is an all-hands-on-deck effort,” said Tory. “The city and the province have worked together to dramatically expand Toronto Public Health’s case and contact management team.”
Tory thanked the people involved in the case and contact management efforts as well as the Ontario government for their continued partnership. He encouraged people to stay home as much as possible to stop the spread of COVID-19.
These new enhancements build on TPH’s work since the beginning of the pandemic. Since March, the public health unit has responded by increasing the case and contact management team from 50 staff members to more than 900. They have built a custom data system to increase response times, begun using text messaging and voicemails to reach people who have contracted COVID-19, and partnered with universities and health-care institutions.
Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said case and contact management allows TPH to be proactive.
“Case and contact management is complex and a central component of our COVID-19 response,” said de Villa. “Today’s news is encouraging, as we work to do everything we can to stop the spread of this virus and save lives in Toronto.”
Ontario’s local public health units are responsible for handling COVID-19 contact tracing, case management, and they offer support throughout the self-isolation period. Ontario reported 2,998 COVID-19 cases and 100 deaths on Friday. Toronto reported 800 of these cases. The city has experienced the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths than any other municipality in the province. There have been 61,242 resolved cases and 2,117 deaths in Toronto as of Friday.