Ontario is hiring up to 600 More Contact Tracers to Track, Trace and Isolate New Cases of COVID-19 Across the Province

The Ontario government announced yesterday that they have hired 100 new contact tracers, many of whom are starting work this week, with up to 500 more recruits expected to be hired by mid-November. Premier Ford explained “With these additional hires, we will have hundreds more boots on the ground to support contact tracing throughout the province, which is an essential weapon in our fight against COVID-19.”
Ontario is partnering with Ian Martin, an Ontario-based recruitment firm that has extensive experience in supplying COVID-19 staffing resources.

In addition, Ontario Public Service (OPS) staff are also volunteering for redeployment to provide surge support for contact tracing this fall and winter, and over 600 Statistics Canada employees have been onboarded since July to assist with contact follow-up.

This new addition of contract trcers will bring the total number of case and contact management staff to nearly 4,000. In the current hot spots of Ottawa and Toronto, additional 150 (Ottawa area), and over 200 are being onboarded in Toronto to assist in contact tracing.

“With rising COVID-19 cases and outbreaks, we need more contact tracers to ensure the province is able to identify and isolate new cases to limit and stop the spread of the virus,” said Minister Elliott. “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.”

In addition, Ontario has also successfully implemented a centralized Public Health Case and Contact Management (CCM) I&IT System in public health units across the province. This user-friendly system significantly reduces duplication, speeds up processes and allows for more efficient case and contact management work to be completed. Direct integration with the Ontario Laboratory Information System eliminates the need for health unit staff to re-type COVID-19 data into the province’s former integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS). Those who have received a lab test indicating they have COVID-19 can also use CONTACT+, a secure online tool to provide key information and close contacts to their local public health unit. Providing this data will help accelerate case management and contact tracing work.

To support Ontario’s case and contact management strategy, the province is encouraging everyone to download the COVID Alert app, the country’s made-in-Ontario exposure notification app. The best way to fight COVID-19 is to continue to follow¬†public health advice¬†that reduces the risk of transmission and helps keep Ontarians safe.

Brenda Stockton
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