Toronto Public Health adds 280 people to COVID-19 contact tracing program Meredith Bond

Toronto Public Health (TPH) has added 280 contact callers and case managers to their COVID-19 contract tracing program.

In a partnership with the province, 180 contact callers and case managers will be added to focus on the rapid isolation of cases while another 100 case managers are being recruited.

With the additional staff, TPH will have the capacity to perform higher risk investigations including clusters and workplace outbreaks.

TPH says since the pandemic began they have increased their case and contact management team from 50 to more than 900.

As of Jan. 8, only 36.4 per cent of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases were reached within 24 hours, well below TPH’s goal of 90 per cent.

Reporting on how many close contacts had been reached within 24 hours is currently suspended.

In a statement, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, said contact tracing is a central component of the city’s COVID-19 response.

“Investigations into where the individual may have acquired COVID-19 provides our team with the opportunity to proactively work upstream to prevent further virus spread,” Dr. de Villa added.

RELATED: Toronto cites revenue losses of $1.6B due to pandemic in 2021 budget

Toronto remains one of the hotspot regions in the province with 8,690 active COVID-19 cases and 2,126 deaths reported, according to data on the city’s website. Over 62,000 cases are considered resolved.

The test positivity rate for the city sits at 10.1 per cent.

There are 144 outbreaks in the city with 98 in healthcare settings, including long-term care homes, and 21 in shelter and congregate settings.

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