April 8, 2020 - Addressing the poor coordination of laboratory infrastructure and shortages of personal protective equipment for frontline workers must be the top priority for health officials, according to the Institute’s Crisis Working Group on Public Health and Emergency Measures. In addition, proactive guidance for health care providers and institutions about appropriate practices for directing limited supplies and their reuse would reduce the negative effects of shortages in critical supplies where they arise.
The group also noted there are still places and populations where rapid testing, widely deployed, with rigorous contact tracing and isolation could keep the virus at bay.
- Priority should be given to testing members of the public in relatively isolated communities (indigenous, rural communities, etc.) in which the concentration of infected people, symptomatic or not, would be low.
- However, in areas that already have significant community spread of infection, broad population testing is of limited use in managing spread. In these areas, the priority for testing should be front-line health care workers and vulnerable populations; population at the highest risk of exposure and those at the highest risk for transmission.
For more information, please contact: Rosalie Wyonch, Policy Analyst, C.D. Howe Institute; Laura Bouchard, Communications Manager, C.D. Howe Institute: Phone: 416 865-9935.