Premier Ford was in Huntsville today with the CEO of Shoppers Drug Mart to announce the rollout of COVID testing in all of Ontario’s big pharma chains starting Friday. The Premier and Health Minister Christine Elliott both stressed that the pharmacy tests are designed for people who are not experiencing COVID symptoms but who need to know if they have been exposed to the virus. Shoppers President Jeff Leger said” we know there are asymptomatic people who need tests, either to travel on business or visit loved ones and we can help.”
The Premier was asked about some COVID outbreaks in three schools and whether that would trigger a shutdown of schools. He said the system of dividing students into cohorts that can be isolated is working so far, pointing out that there are currently 2.5 million children back in school right now, but added, “I was the first Premier in Canada to shut down schools, and I won’t hesitate to do it again.”
Health Minister Christine Elliott told reporters that the province has developed a three scenario approach to its contingency planning for a possible resurgence of COVID and twice repeated, “We are prepared for the worst.” The comments come as Ontario experienced a dip in new COVID reporting from approaching 500 yesterday to just over 350 today.
Once again Ford sharpened his attacks on Health Canada who have become a daily target for the Premier in his daily news conferences. Ford says the new saliva-based test currently under evaluation by the agency is easy to administer and provides almost immediate results and he can’t understand why it is taking so long to get the test approved.