The Ontario government is allowing local public health units to accept and recruit volunteers to help with patient follow ups as well as contact tracing investigations amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Additionally, online portal is also being prepared by the government allowing people who have been tested for coronavirus to view their results online, according to CTV News.
In a statement, Health Minister Christine Elliot said, “It will help reduce the burden on our public health units and frontline health workers, allowing them to focus their efforts where they are needed most during this challenging time.”
This news follows a mailing error by the Peel Region Public Health unit which resulted in 16 people thinking their test results were negative when they had actually tested positive for the virus.
Medical students and retired healthcare professionals will be among the people recruited to help public health units trace contacts of confirmed coronavirus cases.
Health units have struggled in this department as the number of investigations continues to expand.
The head of the Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, and Pine Ridge district Health Unit noted that resources for carrying out contract tracing investigations during weekends are unavailable at this time. This unit has already seen an outbreak where 17 people lost their lives from the virus.
Israel, Singapore and Taiwan are also making the online move to improve contact tracing.
Authorities in Canada have been hesitant to carry through with the new online method due to privacy concerns.