October 16th, 2020

NDP MPP Hassan says severe testing delays in Toronto hot spots are putting lives at risk

TORONTO – NDP MPP Faisal Hassan (York South—Weston) says severe testing delays in Toronto’s COVID-19 hot spots are putting local residents at greater risk, with people waiting for over two weeks just to get their results. Hassan has received over 25 complaints just this week from local people who have no idea when they will finally get the results of their tests leaving them unable to return to their jobs, go back to school, or provide essential care to their loved ones in long-term care homes.

“Our community is a high-risk area for COVID-19 with case counts escalating every day. We have a high proportion of vulnerable residents, and many front line workers in health care, food services and retail who don’t have the option of working from home,” said Hassan.

“These delays are totally unacceptable. It’s forcing people to stay in isolation and unable to earn a living, and risks making community transmission even worse. By the time the local public health unit has followed up with contacts of a positive case, it may be too late as they could already have spread the virus to others."

Hassan said it took months of pressure to finally get the Ford government to provide a local testing facility in late September, but without timely results and contact tracing this will not be enough to control the spread of the virus.

“Doug Ford chose not to act before the second wave, because he didn’t want to spend the money. He tried to pinch pennies by delaying, and doing the bare minimum. His government has still refused to increase sick days so every worker can stay home when they have COVID-19 symptoms. Now it’s communities like ours in York South—Weston that are suffering. He’s been far too slow to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in our community, and once again we are being neglected. Without fast results and immediate contact tracing, we are putting more lives at risk,” said Hassan.

“We need urgent action to fix the testing mess Doug Ford has created. We need more resources right now to protect our community before it’s too late.”


Robyn Moreno, local resident

“I feel very frustrated. We’ve been calling and following up with public health for over two weeks trying to find out when my kids will get their test results. We feel like we’ve been left to fend for ourselves, and we’ve lost trust in the system. I’ve heard the same thing from friends, who have completed their isolation period but still don’t know if they are positive or negative. My two sons went to get tested on October 1 and October 3 and only today did I get the results. One of my sons even had to miss out on assessments at college because he couldn’t go back until he got a negative test.”

Molly Ann Keays, local resident

“My son had a mild cough so we decided to do the right thing and be cautious. We kept my son, and our other two children, at home while we waited for the result from Humber River testing centre. We only got our results today after getting the test on October 1. This ineffective system is a waste of our time and public resources, and my three children missed out on almost two weeks of school because of this delay.”