News Release
June 19, 2020

Toronto Public Health (TPH) is pleased to announce that each day this week it has exceeded the provincial target of reaching 90% of cases within 24 hours. This is a significant accomplishment and can be attributed to the dedicated staff assigned to the response efforts. To-date, there have been nearly 14,000 cases of COVID-19 investigated by TPH.

Case and contact management plays an important role in managing and responding to an infectious disease such as COVID-19. After receiving laboratory confirmation of a COVID-19 case, TPH staff follows up with the individual in order to confirm the person is isolating, identify their close contacts, and investigate into how they might have contracted the virus. TPH also continues to follow cases for 14 days to monitor the individual’s symptoms and ensure that they are appropriately isolated.

At the onset of the outbreak, TPH’s case and contact management team was comprised of 50 staff. Since then, the case and contact management team has been expanded to approximately 700 staff to manage community cases and outbreaks in Toronto’s long-term care facilities, shelter system, hospitals, and other institutions.

Throughout this global emergency, TPH has continued to scale up this critical function as the local situation has evolved.  Enhancements have included:

  • Partnering with the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, the University of Toronto and other health agencies to boost our workforce;
  • Building a new case and contact management system in eight weeks during the pandemic to improve TPH’s ability to track test results, hospitalizations and death in a timely way;
  • Conducting a review of our own internal case and contact management processes

to improve our work in this critical function;

  • Bringing in staff from the City’s Emergency Operations Centre to conduct an independent review of our work to improve our response and help us to prepare for the future; and
  • Partnering with labs and COVID-19 assessment centres to streamline results-sharing and to do everything that we can to make sure that cases and their close contacts are quickly identified and appropriately managed.

Case and contact management is complex, especially as we continue to learn more about this new virus. Investigations into where the individual may have acquired to a COVID-19 case provides Toronto Public Health the opportunity to work proactively to prevent further virus spread. Case and contact management has been and will remain a central component of its response as the city moves forward with reopening.

Toronto Public Health also recently launched a new COVID-19 monitoring dashboard, which provides the public with a current summary on how the city is progressing in its response to COVID-19 as Toronto moves to the recovery phase. It also helps Toronto Public Health carefully monitor COVID-19 activity and adjust actions if the local situation changes.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.


“I want to thank all of the staff at Toronto Public Health for their hard work during the pandemic. Today’s news is encouraging as we work to do everything we can to track COVID-19 and stop the spread of this deadly virus. This important detective work will be crucial as we head into the next phase of reopening the city.”
– Mayor John Tory

“Since January, Toronto Public Health staff have been working around the clock to limit the spread of COVID-19. With over 700 people dedicated to case and contact tracing, it’s now the largest team in the country. TPH staff have continually adjusted and refined the pandemic response to ensure we have more information, better data, and faster ways to monitor results and outcomes. Meeting and exceeding this provincial target is yet another example of the dedication and hard work they put in to keeping our city safe.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy, Chair Toronto Board of Health, Ward 10 Spadina-Fort York

“In public health, our patient is the community. This means for our work in case and contact management, we want to stop and prevent the transmission of disease. This is why it is so important that we quickly identify COVID-19 cases, how they acquired the virus, people who might have been exposed to them while they were infectious and recommend actions they can take to prevent further spread. Meeting this provincial target is an important milestone and a testament to the hard work and dedications of my team at TPH.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health

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Lenore Bromley
Toronto Public Health