The Ontario government is working with an Ontario recruitment firm to help up to 600 contract tracers and case managers.
The province has hired 100 new contact tracers so far and is expected to hire up to 500 more recruits by mid-November. To expedite the onboarding of the additional staffing resources, the government is working with Ian Martin, an Ontario-based recruitment firm that “has extensive experience in supplying COVID-19 staffing resources,” it announced.
This action came out of the $1.376 billion investment to expand testing and contact tracing in the province as part of the new fall preparedness plan.
“With these additional hires, we will have hundreds of more boots on the ground to support contact tracing throughout the province, which is an essential weapon in our fight against COVID-19,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
Each of these contact tracers can reach up to 20 contacts per day and help people navigate what to do if they have been exposed to the virus.
“That means that the 600 new contract tracers to be hired in Ontario can make up to 12,000 calls per day,” said Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott Wednesday.
With the addition of the new hires as well as the current contact management staff and Statistics Canada employees, the number of contact management staff will reach up to 4,000.
“We have 2750 contract tracers, and over 600 Statistics Canada interviewers currently in the field to help track, trace, and isolate cases, 25 local public health units are reaching 100 per cent of cases within 24 hours… 30 local public health units are reaching 90 per cent or higher… and in two short weeks, we are well on our way to building up our surge capacity with reinforcements,” said Ford today at Queen’s Park.
Ontario will also be sending additional staff to COVID-19 hotspots such as Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto to assist with the growing number of cases being reported in those areas. So far, 200 more staff have been onboarded in Toronto and an additional 150 in the Ottawa area.
“Case and contact management is a key component of Ontario’s fall preparedness plan. As part of that plan, our government will continue to work collaboratively with public health units and provide additional staff and resources to support this important work,” added Christine Elliott.
Ontario has also implemented a centralized Public Health Case and Contact Management (CCM) I&IT System to help public health units across the province. This system reduces duplication, speeds up processing, and helps in contact management by eliminating the need for public health unit staff to re-type COVID-19 data into the province’s former integrated public health information system.