“At every turn of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve strengthened our domestic supply chain and focused on securing critical, high quality PPE and goods reliably through Ontario-based manufacturers,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “From the outset of the Omicron variant, we’ve redoubled our efforts and taken further immediate action to source additional materials and position our province to successfully and safely re-open our schools and economy, keeping our kids and communities safe.”
In order to further support the gradual ease of public health measures, the province has implemented a response plan to strengthen Ontario’s pandemic supply chain and bolster our stockpile by:
- Securing over 97,500 HEPA filters to improve ventilation in congregate settings, including more than 24,500 for hospitals, long-term care, and retirement homes, 5,500 for agri-food congregate living settings, over 52,000 for schools and child care facilities as well as over 15,500 for other essential settings
- Procuring an additional 79 million superior quality N95 masks from the 3M plant in Brockville, Ontario
- Sourcing 200 million level one and level two surgical/protective masks annually for five years through four Ontario-based companies – PRIMED, Canada Masq, Viva Healthcare Packaging Canada, and JY Care
- Providing and delivering over 8.3 million child-sized three ply cloth masks for students and over 10 million N95 masks for teachers to protect them at school
- Purchasing a total of about 157 million rapid tests, including 126 million between December 2021 and January 2022
- Establishing an arrangement for fit-testing services that are available to all sectors where guidance requires the use of fit-tested N95 respirators
These additional supplies are on top of the province’s robust stockpile and previous record level investments for PPE.
Starting today, information on how the province is strengthening Ontario’s pandemic supply chain will be made readily available. This includes data on the amounts of PPE and critical supplies being distributed across the province. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the government has shipped over 722 million pieces of PPE to support public sector workers, including over 282 million masks, over 270 million gloves and over 4.7 million litres of hand sanitizer.
In addition to the record setting delivery of vaccines and booster doses to Ontarians, the province has extended its call to arms to allow and support Ontario businesses to host employer-led clinics. A growing number of workplaces have actively shown their Ontario Spirit by rising to the challenge to help administer over 85,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to date.
The government has also expanded additional significant staffing resources to the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre so Ontarians who need help booking their vaccine or require more information on vaccinations can rest assured they can get the support they need. Since March 2021, our Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre agents have handled more than five million calls and supported over 15 million vaccination appointment transactions.