Ontario had completed just 334 tests for COVID-19 per 100,000 residents, trailing well behind Alberta and B.C. – with 1,020 tests per 100,000 and 717 tests per 100,000, respectively – according to the latest provincial and territorial health data.
Quebec, which has 2,840 confirmed cases, has completed about 611 tests per 100,000, while Manitoba has completed 519 and Nova Scotia 496. Prince Edward Island has completed 393 per 100,000 residents and New Brunswick has completed 376.
More than 221,600 people have been tested in Canada as of March 30, with over 6,300 confirmed cases and at least 66 deaths.
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Ontario has faced criticism over its backlog of tests as thousands of residents wait anxiously at home for results. As of last Thursday, the province announced the backlog had grown to just under 11,000 before falling slightly over the weekend.
On Monday, Ontario launched a new website that provides a more “relevant summary of data” from provincial health officials, including noting that a total of 48,561 people have been tested, but no longer lists how many cases are awaiting test results.
Alberta, by comparison, has processed over 44,000 despite its lower population.
The World Health Organization and epidemiologists around the world have said that widespread testing is one of the most important tools in the battle against COVID-19 to accurately track the spread of the virus in communities.