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Ottawa ready to help co-ordinate provincial testing, contact tracing: Trudeau

Last Updated May 15, 2020 at 10:44 am MDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a daily briefing on COVID-19 outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Thursday, May 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says provinces looking to reopen their economies will need to massively scale up and co-ordinate testing and contact tracing to contain future outbreaks of COVID-19.

Trudeau says testing and contact tracing that reaches beyond provincial boundaries will be essential as COVID-19 restrictions begin to be eased and people begin to travel more.

This will require collaboration among the provinces on how this work is done — efforts that Trudeau says the federal government is prepared to help with.

But he says a national approach will require the provinces to be willing to work with Ottawa on a collective effort.

During a call among Trudeau and provincial premiers last evening, the issue of testing and contact tracing was a key topic of discussion, where they agreed on the need for collaboration to ensure necessary resources, technology and supplies are in place to expand this work, according to a readout of the conversation issued by the prime minister’s office.

Earlier this month, Ontario Premier Doug Ford called for a national plan for contact tracing, noting that each province has been approaching this work differently.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 15, 2020.

The Canadian Press