How Ontario turned the tide on a huge backlog of COVID-19 tests

A note from Dr. Vanessa Allen, chief of Medical Microbiology at Public Health Ontario, alerted labs across Ontario that their help was needed. 
Steve Russell/The Toronto Star

Date Published: April 4, 2020

Source: The Toronto Star

On February 29th, with 11 confirmed cases, approximately 1,000 people tested, and recognizing the need to expand testing in Ontario, Dr. Vanessa Allen, chief of Medical Microbiology at Public Health Ontario (PHO), put out a request to see if non-public or hospital labs had the capacity or an interest in conducting COVID-19 testing. With no formal system connecting public, private and hospital lab scientists, infectious disease specialists from all lab types worked together as best as they could. As testing expanded in the first two weeks of March, a backlog of more than 10,000 tests developed because the PHO lab could only process 3,000 tests per day. At the beginning of April, Dynacare and LifeLabs began running tests and soon two other private labs and other hospitals, in addition to Mt. Sinai Hospital, will join in testing. The testing backlog is now cleared and a formal system to coordinate labs has been developed. 

Read the full article here: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/04/04/how-ontario-turned-the-tide-on-a-huge-backlog-of-covid-19-tests.html

Summary by: Jayoti Rana