Canada

Ontario reports 302 new COVID-19 cases over 2 days as launch of contact tracing app delayed

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Ontario’s network of labs processed about 50,000 COVID-19 test samples over the last two days. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Ontario reported a combined total of 302 new cases of COVID-19 over the last two days, with 149 of those from Wednesday and 153 today, the Ministry of Health says.

The province did not release any COVID-19 data on Canada Day, and thus today’s update includes figures from both days.

The newly confirmed cases bring the total in Ontario since the outbreak began to 35,370. Nearly 87 per cent of those are now resolved. An additional 386 were marked resolved over the two-day period covered in today’s report.

Further, 29 of Ontario’s 34 public health units reported five or fewer confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus today. Twenty-three of those reported no new cases at all, according to Minister of Health Christine Elliott.

The province’s network of community, commercial and hospital labs processed about 50,000 COVID-19 test samples over the last two days. If testing levels stay where they are, Ontario could hit a cumulative total of 1.5 million tests completed by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, a new mobile app meant to help with contact tracing of COVID-19 cases won’t roll out across Ontario today as planned.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health says the province is still working with the federal government and the app is expected to launch soon.

The province will be the first to use the COVID Alert app, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said it should be ready for downloading in the rest of the country later this summer.

Premier Doug Ford says the app is meant to enhance the province’s contact tracing strategy.

He’s previously said it could play a key role in helping contain the spread of COVID-19 as more businesses reopen their doors.

The Bluetooth-based app will be voluntary, and will notify users based on a number of criteria, including if they were within two metres of a person who tests positive for the virus and if that contact took place over an extended period of time.

The province didn’t give a new date for the app’s launch.

CBC News

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