City Launches New Data System to Track COVID-19 Cases and Contacts
We must use every possible tool at our disposal to combat COVID-19. Today, Toronto Public Health launched a brand new information management system for case and contact tracing. Called the Coronavirus Rapid Entry Case and Contact Management System, this tool will help our Toronto Public Health team access and analyze data in real time, helping to limit transmission. We are the first municipality in Ontario to have created a new information management system in response to COVID-19.
Case and contact tracing are essential parts of public health work. This data shows where cases are occurring, how the virus spreads, and how long it can incubate. The new system makes it possible for staff to quickly and easily document each case investigation, and share the information with the Ministry of Health. It can also prioritize cases that require urgent follow-up, such as those for healthcare workers, and makes it possible for more City staff to work remotely during this time.
Previously, the Ontario Government mandated that Toronto Public Health use the provincial information system, which had been in place since 2005. When City staff realized that it didn’t fully meet our data needs during a pandemic, we found a new solution.
In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff from Toronto Public Health and Information Services designed and built our very own new data management system. The City has received provincial approval to implement the new system. It’s been road tested, it’s now been implemented, and it will have a significant impact on our COVID-19 response.