As individual provinces gradually introduce their reopening plans, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has outlined what needs to happen to move forward with reopening the economy on a federal level.
This is will include amplified COVID-19 testing capacity, contact tracing, and data sharing between different jurisdictions in the country.
During his daily address on Friday, Trudeau stated he spoke with all Canadian premiers on Thursday evening during the tenth weekly call since the pandemic has begun. The focus was primarily on how Canada can move to safely reopen the economy.
The Prime Minister emphasized that the virus remains a “serious health threat”, and individual provinces and territories must proceed carefully while listening to the advice of experts.
“Canadians have been doing a great job of staying home and listening to public health advice,” Trudeau said. “But we are not out of the woods yet.”
In order to successfully reopen the economy, Trudeau says there must be a boost in testing capacity, and that Canada must identify new cases and work to isolate them.
He added that the federal government is working with the provinces and territories on providing them with reagents and swabs; in order to effectively manage future outbreaks.
Canada also must fast-track contact tracing, says the Prime Minister.
Contact tracing means reaching out to with everyone who may have been exposed to the virus, in hopes they can isolate and manage themselves.
To assist with contact tracing, Trudeau has said he will provide federal government employees to aid in making 3,600 calls per day, seven days a week, to people who may have come in contact with someone infected.
Statistics Canada will also be providing 1,700 interviewers to make 20,000 calls a day.
“These federal resources are available for any surges, backlogs, and challenges. We are already helping in Ontario and stand ready to help anywhere else.”
The Prime Minister also notes that data collected across different jurisdictions must be shared within provinces and territories; this will help follow the spread of the virus, and respond accordingly.
These are the first steps Canada needs to take in order for people to move around freely again and get back to their routines, says Trudeau.
Lastly, he says there must be a coordinated approach across the country, so that Canadians can feel safe reopening the economy.