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QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement after the first possible community transmission case of COVID-19 and the announcement of federal funding:

Now that the federal government has announced an emergency funding package and Ontario has its first possible case of community transmission, the Government must be transparent with people about Ontario’s readiness to deal with an outbreak.

Healthcare providers are working hard and doing a good job. But after a series of cuts to public health, Ontarians need confidence that the province’s response to COVID-19 will not be hampered by an austerity agenda.

I urge the Government to provide clear information about the resources it is prepared to allocate towards:

  • Scaling up testing capacity for COVID-19 at existing and new testing facilities;

  • Responding to an influx of COVID-19 patients in hospitals and expanding the capacity for treatment;

  • Increasing Ontario’s inventory of personal protective equipment and critical care supplies;

  • Protecting vulnerable populations at long-term facilities and homeless shelters who are at heightened risk of getting sick; and

  • Keeping healthcare workers on the frontlines of the virus healthy

As we brace for the potential spread of COVID-19 in Ontario, we need assurances that the government will take every step to keep us safe, including funding for public health and front line care.”

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