As many as 60 pharmacies in Ontario will provide COVID-19 testing beginning Friday (September 25) as the province reported 335 new cases today, the lowest daily increase since September 16.
Premier Doug Ford made the announcement on Wednesday (September 23) at a media conference at Shoppers Drug Mart in Huntsville, where he was accompanied by health minister Christine Elliott, Shoppers Drug Mart president Jeff Leger, Huntsville mayor Karin Terziano, Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller, Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Scott Aitchison, and and Natalie Bubela, chief executive officer of Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare.
“We need to make it easier to get a COVID test, as it is for a flu shot,” Ford said. “Here in Huntsville, this location will take some pressure off the local assessment centre, in addition to working with our partners to increase the number of testing locations.”
The testing will be available by appointment only for people without symptoms. With the exception of Huntsville, most of the 60 pharmacies to provide testing are located in the three regions of the province with the highest number of cases. Testing will be available on Friday at selected Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall, and independent pharmacies in Toronto, North York, Markham, East York, Scarborough, Weston, Etobicoke, Mississauga, Brampton, Ottawa, Kanata, Nepean, and Huntsville. The province says further locations will be added in the coming weeks.
Ford also announced three hospitals in Toronto — Mount Sinai Hospital, Women’s College Hospital, and University Health Network — will begin offering the less-intrusive saliva-based COVID-19 test, while the Ontario government waits for Health Canada to approve the test for widespread use.
“Health Canada, we need your help,” Ford said. “All I’m hearing is crickets from Health Canada right now on the saliva test. These types of tests make it easier to test people, especially kids.”
Of the 335 new cases in Ontario, the majority are in Toronto (102), Peel (79), and Ottawa (65), with smaller increases in York (30), Halton (15), Waterloo (13), and Simcoe Muskoka (9). The remaining 27 public health units are reporting 5 or fewer cases, with 19 reporting no new cases. Of today’s cases, 69% are among people under the age of 40.
There have been 3 new deaths, and hospitalizations have increased by 6 to 88. The backlog of tests under investigation has increased by 8,291 to 48,079. There are 42 cases in Ontario schools, with 21 student cases, 5 staff cases, and 16 cases among people who are not identified. In licensed child care settings, there are 35 confirmed cases, with 5 child cases and 8 staff cases.
In the greater Kawarthas region, there is 1 new case to report in Peterborough and 2 new cases to report in Northumberland. There are no new cases in Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton, or Prince Edward and Hastings counties. There are currently 7 active cases in Peterborough and 7 active cases in Northumberland. None of the cases reported in schools or child care settings are in the Kawarthas region.
Since the pandemic began in the greater Kawarthas region, there have been 112 confirmed positive cases in the Peterborough area (103 resolved with 2 deaths), 178 in the City of Kawartha Lakes (159 resolved with 32 deaths), 43 in Northumberland County (35 resolved with 1 death), 15 in Haliburton County (15 resolved with no deaths), and 52 in Hastings County and Prince Edward County (47 resolved with 5 deaths). The most recent death was reported in Northumberland on September 8.
Province-wide, there have been 48,087 confirmed cases, an increase of 335 from yesterday, with 41,600 (86.5% of all cases) resolved, an increase of 258. There have been 2,835 deaths, an increase of 3 from yesterday, with 1,830 deaths reported in long-term care homes, an increase of 2 from yesterday. A total of 3,649,980 tests have been completed, an increase of 35,436 from yesterday, with 48,079 tests under investigation, an increase of 8,291 from yesterday.
This report is based on data supplied by the province’s integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS), as well as any additional information supplied by health units. This information is at least 24 hours old, so it is not real-time data. Note that each health unit reports the information in a different way.
Peterborough Public Health
Peterborough Public Health’s service area is the City and County of Peterborough and the Hiawatha and Curve Lake First Nations.
Confirmed positive: 112 (increase of 1)
Active cases: 7 (increase of 1)
Deaths: 2 (no change)
Resolved: 103 (no change)
Total tests completed: Over 27,800 (increase of 150)
Institutional outbreaks: Fairhaven (no change)
Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit’s service area is the City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County, and Haliburton County.
The health unit provides reports on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, excluding statutory holidays. These numbers are from September 21 and will be updated when the health unit issues its report later this afternoon.
Confirmed positive: 236, including 178 in Kawartha Lakes, 43 in Northumberland, 15 in Haliburton (increase of 2 in Northumberland)
Probable cases: 0 (no change)
Hospitalizations (total to date): 15 (no change)
Deaths: 33 (no change)
Resolved: 209, including 159 in Kawartha Lakes, 35 in Northumberland, 15 in Haliburton (increase of 1 in Northumberland)
Active cases: 7 in Northumberland (increase of 1)
Institutional outbreaks: None (no change)
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health’s service area is Hastings County (including Bancroft) and Prince Edward County.
The health unit provides reports on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, excluding statutory holidays.
Confirmed positive: 52 (no change)
Active cases: 0 (no change)
Deaths: 5 (no change)
Hospitalized: 0 (no change)
Hospitalized and in ICU: 0 (no change)
Hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator: 0 (no change)
Recovered: 47 (no change)
Total tests completed: 32,413 (increase of 1,234)
Institutional outbreaks: None (no change)
Province of Ontario
Confirmed positive: 48,087 (increase of 335)
Resolved: 41,600 (increase of 258, 86.5% of all cases)
Hospitalized: 88 (increase of 6)
Hospitalized and in ICU: 24 (no change)
Hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator: 9 (decrease of 2)
Deaths: 2,835 (increase of 3)
Deaths of residents in long-term care homes: 1,830 (increase of 2)
Total tests completed: 3,649,980 (increase of 35,436)
Tests under investigation: 48,079 (increase of 8,291)
For more information about COVID-19 in Ontario, visit covid-19.ontario.ca.
This story has been updated with reports from the Peterborough Health Unit and the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.