Ontario expands Case and Contact Management Workforce

By: Laura Steiner
Ontario is expanding its case and contact management workforce.  The province will add at least 1,600 case managers and contact tracers by February 15, 2021.  The announcement comes as the province begins 28 days with a stay-at-home order.
“Our government continues to use every resource at its disposal to fight COVID19 and keep Ontarians safe,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.  The additional staff will bring the number of case and contact tracers to approximately 5,600 in the province.  600 staff from Statistics Canada will also assist with contact tracing.
“Ontario’s public health system continues to take extraordinary efforts to contain COVID-19,” Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said.  Toronto will be assigned 180 case managers and contact tracers due to the spread, with plans to increase that to 280. The provincial workforce is assisting 12 public health units including Halton, Ottawa, Hamilton, Waterloo, Peel and York. The Public Health Units are starting to use technology in order to reach cases faster, and limit the spread including a Virtual Assistant.
The latest models, presented earlier this week project ICU beds to be as high as 1,000 beds by early February.  Halton Region as of January 15, 2021 has hit 102% occupancy across the region’s four hospitals.