Bonnie Crombie says Mississauga can only test about 400 people for COVID-19 a day

 

After days of concern over the slowdown in testing for COVID-19 in Ontario, Premier Doug Ford announced that absolutely anyone who wants a test can now have one.

While many lauded the move as a much-needed push to increase testing after the province repeatedly fell short of its goal of 16,000 tests per day, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie recently raised a troubling concern: Mississauga is only able to test 400 to 500 people a day. 

Crombie told insauga.com that if the province wants more tests completed, it needs to support public health agencies to increase their capacity. 

Bonnie Crombie comments about COVID-19 testing capacity from insauga on Vimeo.

The question has really turned to testing and what’s our capacity because the premier has announced that anyone who wants a test can go out and get one and that’s not quite true just yet,” Crombie said. 

Capacity doesn’t exist until he wants to fund greater capacity. We have the ability to perform somewhere between 400 and 500 tests in Mississauga a day. Now, the premier has announced that anyone who wants to go get tested should get tested, and we don’t have the ability to do that.”

As of now, residents can get tested at two assessment centres in Mississauga. The centres are located at Trillium Health Partners—Mississauga Hospital (the Clinical Administrative Building at 15 Bronte College Court) and Trillium Health Partners—Credit Valley Hospital (Valley House at 2200 Erin Mills Parkway).

According to Trillium’s website, testing is “not required” for people who are not experiencing any symptoms—even if those people have been in contact with a confirmed case. 

We’re waiting to hear the premier’s plans for testing and I hope it involves greater funding for public health. Don’t forget that last year, they cut the funding to public health,” Crombie said. 

The mayor said she hopes there will be mobile test sites that can travel to people—especially first responders—who need to be tested. 

Crombie said she would like to see more testing in Mississauga to get a clearer picture of how the virus is spreading in the city. She also said the city will need support to not only obtain more testing equipment but also ramp up its ability to analyze said tests and do contact tracing—something that will be crucial when it comes to reopening the province’s economy. 

We know 35 per cent of people are asymptomatic, so we’d like to know the exposure rate in Mississauga. The more who get tested, the more we know,” she said.   

It’s not just the testing team and the analysis team in the labs, it’s the contact tracing team. All of that has to be funded and beefed up.” 

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