Ontario to test 2,000 children for COVID-19

Scotiabank Arena to host mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic for young kids Dec. 12

By: Kevin Johnson, The Ottawa Citizen. Published on Wedrd Feb 23 2019

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott, who is set to attend Wednesday’s mass vaccination clinic for kids, have offered to personally hand out COVID-19 vaccine if Ontario can get its children, and everyone else, tested for the disease.

The mass clinic for kids, which began today, is in response to the federal government’s public health crisis in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario will first test 100 children, and later ramp up to as many as 500, with the aim of vaccinating 2,000 children in the province.

“I have been personally involved in the planning of this clinic and have been very impressed with Ms. Christine Elliott’s ability to mobilize support and make it happen,” Premier Doug Ford said in a statement.

Ontario recently became the first Canadian province to ask for public health experts to come on short-notice to provide expert scientific input to the province about the ongoing pandemic.

In announcing the testing for kids, Mr. Ford said it’s the “last, best hope.”

“By testing a lot of kids, we will be able to find out who does and does not have the disease, thereby reducing the risk they pose to others,” the premier said.

On Monday, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said Ontario would vaccinate a total of 2,000 children in the province at various locations from coast to coast.

She also announced that Ontario’s school boards would get the go-ahead for large-scale immunization during the current coronavirus pandemic.

“We will be working with the province… to make sure we are able to vaccinate all the kids in school as much as possible,” Dr. Yaffe said during the broadcast of Sunday’s daily news conference.

At the same time, she said her office is working to ensure parents are provided with the proper information for when the province’s school boards release their plans.

Parents in Ontario have been required to take COVID-19 vaccine for their children since

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