covid testing toronto

This is why Toronto doesn't have any drive-thru testing for COVID-19

Why hasn't Toronto started drive-thru COVID-19 testing yet? 

While other major cities around Canada, like Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary, have all set up drive-thru COVID-19 tests, Toronto is way behind and it doesn't look like it will be catching up any time soon. 

A spokesperson for Toronto Public Health told blogTO there are still no plans to set up any drive-thru testing sites.

According to Toronto Public Health, right now, only hospitals are providing testing and they're only testing people who are symptomatic and are at high-risk of infecting a large group of people.

In other words, tests are for healthcare workers, people who work in congregate settings like homeless shelters and those who live in vulnerable settings only. Not the general public. 

One reason for this is because there's a global shortage of supplies

"The extremely high volume of COVID-19 tests being conducted at the Public Health Ontario Laboratory requires us to start prioritizing testing for the most vulnerable people in our health system and those who treat patients," Public Health Ontario told CBC.

Another reason is the test is a complex process that requires a lot of different and specialized materials to complete. From the type of swab used to extracting the RNA it takes time. 

The Ministry of Health says they're working with partners in the health care system ramp up the monitoring and detection of coronavirus. 

On Wednesday the provincial government released their action plan for responding to COVID-19.

There was no mention of drive-thru testing specifically, but more funding is being put toward screening, monitoring and laboratory as well as home testing. 

"These are extraordinary times that demand extraordinary measures," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

"Ontario's historic investments to dramatically expand hospital capacity and support the heroes working on the frontlines of our health care system will ensure we are able to respond to the growing challenge of COVID-19 and protect the health and wellbeing of all Ontarians."

In the meantime, keep washing your hands and practice social distancing. 

Lead photo by

David White


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