Today, Toronto Public Health launched a new technology solution to enhance case and contact tracing work. Case and contact tracing is a critical component of Toronto Public Health’s (TPH) COVID-19 response and work to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
As of 12:30 p.m. today there are 2,881 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. This includes 2,559 confirmed cases and 322 probable ones. There are 230 cases hospitalized, and there are 88 in intensive care units. In total 147 people have died of COVID-19 in Toronto.
Case and contact follow-up is routine public health work for COVID-19 and other commonly reportable infectious diseases including measles, mumps and hepatitis A. Case and contact tracing information provides insight in how COVID-19 spreads from one person to another, the extent of community spread and how long the virus can incubate. It also provides information on the overall impacts on our health and what we can to do further protect our residents. Other important data sources are symptoms, testing results, hospitalizations, deaths and what other jurisdictions are experiencing and what we can learn from them.
CORES will allow TPH to quickly and easily document each individual case investigation efficiently and share data with the provincial Ministry of Health. It will allow TPH to better keep up with the volume of new reports and prioritize individual cases that require urgent follow-up such as healthcare workers as the local COVID-19 evolves. Importantly, this system also allows more of our front-line staff to work remotely from home.
Previously, TPH was inputting our case and contact tracing data into the provincial integrated public health information system also known as iPHIS that all local public health departments are required to use to report infectious disease information. This system has served TPH well during routine public health work. However, it is not equipped to deal with a health emergency of this magnitude and the scale and speed of data entry required to provide up-to-date data.
More information about the City of Toronto’s ongoing COVID-19 response is available at toronto.ca/covid-19.
“I’m pleased to launch this new CORES information system to enhance our critical case and contact tracing work and during our local COVID-19 response. This new information system enables our team to quickly and easily document each individual case investigation efficiently, and share data with the provincial Ministry of Health. It will allow us to keep up with the increasing volume of work as our local situation continues to evolve. This new system will also enable my team to provide more detailed data to the public. I would like to sincerely thank my team and our City partners for this unprecedented and innovative collaboration during this emergency.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health
“Contact tracing is a core feature of our ability to effectively contain and prevent transmission of infectious diseases. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto Public Health and the City of Toronto designed, built, and implemented our very own new data management system. It’s been road tested, it’s now been implemented, and it will have a significant effect in our COVID-19 response”
– Joe Cressy, Chair of the Board of Health and City Councillor, Spadina-Fort York
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