Testing for COVID-19: Increasing testing supply

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What Canada is doing

Canada is mobilizing industry and providing support for research, market approval, manufacturing and access to medical supplies. We're working proactively with companies that are developing new and innovative testing technologies. We're also engaging with international regulators to share knowledge about new developments related to testing.

Increasing testing options

Health Canada reviews testing devices to assess their safety, effectiveness and quality before they're authorized for sale in Canada. For a test to be authorized by Health Canada, it must be submitted for review by a manufacturer. To date, Health Canada has authorized a number of different COVID-19 tests. We also continue to expedite the review of COVID-19 tests, including new testing options.

Health Canada is currently prioritizing the review of:

Health Canada has received a number of antigen test applications that are under priority review. Antigen tests detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus and provide rapid results. Health Canada hasn't authorized any antigen tests at this time.

A small number of saliva tests have been submitted to Health Canada and are under priority review. Health Canada hasn't authorized any tests for use with saliva at this time.

Health Canada will expedite the review of any new testing technologies submitted by manufacturers, including at-home test kits (also known as "self-testing"). For at-home test kits, the manufacturer must provide data to show the test is safe and effective for Canadians to use without health care professional supervision.

In all cases, companies must provide evidence that the test is accurate and reliable before Health Canada will authorize it. Health Canada has provided guidance to manufacturers on the authorization requirements for different types of tests such as antibody tests and antigen tests.

Supporting provincial and territorial COVID-19 testing capacity

The federal government is providing $4.28 billion to the provinces and territories. This money is to help them conduct testing, perform contact tracing and share public health data that will help fight the pandemic. The goal is to ensure they have the capacity to test up to 200,000 people each day, nationwide.

Canada is also providing funding and support to improve and modernize data management across Canada. This support is to help all levels of government coordinate their efforts to contain the virus.

The table below shows the current capacity for each province and territory compared to the capacity target agreed to under the Safe Restart Agreement.

The national capacity target of about 200,000 tests each day is based on modelling. This modelling exercise indicates this capacity is enough to meet the expected demand for testing.

Provincial and territorial COVID-19 testing capacity

Testing capacity reported as of January 5, 2021.

Please consult the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Epidemiology update for daily and weekly updates on the average number of people tested.

In circumstances where capacity was not reported, the previous week’s capacity was indicated (see *).

Newfoundland and Labrador: Target 2,500 - 3,000Footnote *
COVID-19 testing capacity for Newfoundland and Labrador (Target 2,500 - 3,000Footnote ***)
Date Projected daily maximum testing capacity as reported on
2020-09-03 1,450
2020-09-10 1,450
2020-09-17 1,450
2020-09-24 1,450
2020-10-01 1,450
2020-10-08 1,450
2020-10-15 1,450
2020-10-22 1,450
2020-10-29 1,450
2020-11-03 1,450
2020-11-10 1,450
2020-11-17 1,450
2020-11-24 1,450
2020-12-01 1,450
2020-12-08 1,450Footnote *
2020-12-15 1,450
2020-12-22 1,450
2020-12-29 1,450
2021-01-05 1,450
Footnote ***

Target updated October 6 at the request of Newfoundland and Labrador

Return to footnote *** referrer

Prince Edward Island: Target 835
COVID-19 testing capacity for Prince Edward Island (Target 835)
Date Projected daily maximum testing capacity as reported on
2020-09-03 350
2020-09-10 430
2020-09-17 350
2020-09-24 350
2020-10-01 400
2020-10-08 400
2020-10-15 400 (800Footnote **)
2020-10-22 400 (800Footnote **)
2020-10-29 400 (800Footnote **)
2020-11-03 400 (800Footnote **)
2020-11-10 400 (800Footnote **)
2020-11-17 400 (800Footnote **)
2020-11-24 400 (800Footnote **)
2020-12-01 400 (800Footnote **)
2020-12-08 400Footnote * (800Footnote **)
2020-12-15 400 (800Footnote **)
2020-12-22 400
2020-12-29 400
2021-01-05 600
Footnote **

Revised to include the surge testing capacity available on a temporary basis.

Return to footnote ** referrer

Nova Scotia: Target 2,500
COVID-19 testing capacity for Nova Scotia (Target 2,500)
Date Projected daily maximum testing capacity as reported on
2020-09-03 1,500
2020-09-10 1,500
2020-09-17 1,500
2020-09-24 1,500
2020-10-01 1,500
2020-10-08 1,500
2020-10-15 1,500
2020-10-22 1,500
2020-10-29 1,500
2020-11-03 1,500
2020-11-10 1,500
2020-11-17 1,500
2020-11-24 2,500
2020-12-01 2,500
2020-12-08 2,500
2020-12-15 2,500
2020-12-22 2,500
2020-12-29 2,500
2021-01-05 2,500
New Brunswick: Target 2,500 - 3,000
COVID-19 testing capacity for New Brunswick (Target 2,500 - 3,000)
Date Projected daily maximum testing capacity as reported on
2020-09-03 1,500
2020-09-10 1,500
2020-09-17 1,500
2020-09-24 1,500
2020-10-01 1,500
2020-10-08 1,500
2020-10-15 1,500
2020-10-22 1,500
2020-10-29 2,000
2020-11-03 2,000
2020-11-10 2,000
2020-11-17 2,000
2020-11-24 2,000Footnote *
2020-12-01 2,000
2020-12-08 2,000Footnote *
2020-12-15 2,500
2020-12-22 2,500
2020-12-29 2,500
2021-01-05 2,500
Quebec: Target 35,000
COVID-19 testing capacity for Quebec (Target 35,000)
Date Projected daily maximum testing capacity as reported on
2020-09-03 20,000
2020-09-10 20,000
2020-09-17 20,000
2020-09-24 20,000
2020-10-01 20,000
2020-10-08 20,000
2020-10-15 20,000
2020-10-22 20,000
2020-10-29 20,000
2020-11-03 20,000
2020-11-10 20,000
2020-11-17 20,000
2020-11-24 20,000
2020-12-01 20,000
2020-12-08 35,199
2020-12-15 37,142
2020-12-22 38,846
2020-12-29 40,196
2021-01-05 37,972
Ontario: Target 78,000
COVID-19 testing capacity for Ontario (Target 78,000)
Date Projected daily maximum testing capacity as reported on
2020-09-03 35,108
2020-09-10 39,690
2020-09-17 42,434
2020-09-24 42,816
2020-10-01 42,942
2020-10-08 50,692
2020-10-15 51,397
2020-10-22 64,340
2020-10-29 67,094
2020-11-03 71,564
2020-11-10 78,964
2020-11-17 80,856
2020-11-24 81,630
2020-12-01 81,630
2020-12-08 74,008
2020-12-15 77,333
2020-12-22 77,333
2020-12-29 77,581
2021-01-05 79,821
Manitoba: Target 3,000
COVID-19 testing capacity for Manitoba (Target 3,000)
Date Projected daily maximum testing capacity as reported on
2020-09-03 3,000
2020-09-10 3,000
2020-09-17 3,000
2020-09-24 3,000
2020-10-01 3,000
2020-10-08 3,000
2020-10-15 3,000
2020-10-22 3,000
2020-10-29 3,000
2020-11-03 3,000
2020-11-10 3,000
2020-11-17 3,000
2020-11-24 3,000Footnote *
2020-12-01 2,841
2020-12-08 2,841Footnote *
2020-12-15 2,841Footnote *
2020-12-22 3,500
2020-12-29 3,500
2021-01-05 3,500
Saskatchewan: Target 4,000
COVID-19 testing capacity for Saskatchewan (Target 4,000)
Date Projected daily maximum testing capacity as reported on
2020-09-03 1,800
2020-09-10 1,800
2020-09-17 1,800
2020-09-24 1,800
2020-10-01 1,800
2020-10-08 1,800
2020-10-15 1,800
2020-10-22 1,800
2020-10-29 1,800
2020-11-03 1,800
2020-11-10 2,100
2020-11-17 2,700
2020-11-24 2,700
2020-12-01 3,330
2020-12-08 3,450
2020-12-15 3,450
2020-12-22 3,450
2020-12-29 3,450
2021-01-05 3,846
Alberta: Target 22,000
COVID-19 testing capacity for Alberta (Target 22,000)
Date Projected daily maximum testing capacity as reported on
2020-09-03 12,000
2020-09-10 12,000
2020-09-17 12,000
2020-09-24 12,000
2020-10-01 15,500
2020-10-08 22,000
2020-10-15 22,000
2020-10-22 22,000
2020-10-29 22,000
2020-11-03 22,000
2020-11-10 22,000
2020-11-17 22,000
2020-11-24 22,000
2020-12-01 22,000
2020-12-08 22,000Footnote *
2020-12-15 22,000
2020-12-22 22,000
2020-12-29 22,000
2021-01-05 22,000
British Columbia: Target 20,000
COVID-19 testing capacity for British Columbia (Target 20,000)
Date Projected daily maximum testing capacity as reported on
2020-09-03 7,842
2020-09-10 8,581
2020-09-17 7,996
2020-09-24 9,633
2020-10-01 9,714
2020-10-08 10,506
2020-10-15 10,586
2020-10-22 12,840
2020-10-29 13,685
2020-11-03 17,033
2020-11-10 17,333
2020-11-17 18,733
2020-11-24 18,733
2020-12-01 18,733
2020-12-08 18,945
2020-12-15 18,945
2020-12-22 18,945
2020-12-29 18,945
2021-01-05 19,439
Yukon: Target 160
COVID-19 testing capacity for Yukon (Target 160)
Date Projected daily maximum testing capacity as reported on
2020-09-03 n/a
2020-09-10 n/a
2020-09-17 n/a
2020-09-24 n/a
2020-10-01 150
2020-10-08 150
2020-10-15 150
2020-10-22 150
2020-10-29 150
2020-11-03 150
2020-11-10 150
2020-11-17 150
2020-11-24 150
2020-12-01 150Footnote *
2020-12-08 150Footnote *
2020-12-15 150
2020-12-22 150
2020-12-22 150
2020-12-29 150
2021-01-05 150
Northwest Territories: Target 225
COVID-19 testing capacity for Northwest Territories (Target 225)
Date Projected daily maximum testing capacity as reported on
2020-09-03 n/a
2020-09-10 n/a
2020-09-17 n/a
2020-09-24 n/a
2020-10-01 48
2020-10-08 48
2020-10-15 48
2020-10-22 48
2020-10-29 75
2020-11-03 75
2020-11-10 75
2020-11-17 75
2020-11-24 75
2020-12-01 75Footnote *
2020-12-08 75Footnote *
2020-12-15 75Footnote *
2020-12-22 75
2020-12-29 75
2021-01-05 75
Nunavut: Target n/a
COVID-19 testing capacity for Nunavut (Target n/a)
Date Projected daily maximum testing capacity as reported on
2020-09-03 n/a
2020-09-10 n/a
2020-09-17 n/a
2020-09-24 n/a
2020-10-01 n/a
2020-10-08 n/a
2020-10-15 80
2020-10-22 80
2020-10-29 80
2020-11-03 100
2020-11-10 200
2020-11-17 200
2020-11-24 200
2020-12-01 200
2020-12-08 200
2020-12-15 250
2020-12-22 250
2020-12-29 250
2021-01-05 250
Canada: Target 170,720 - 171,220
COVID-19 testing capacity for Canada (Target 170,720 - 171,220)
Date Projected daily maximum testing capacity as reported on
2020-09-03 84,550
2020-09-10 89,951
2020-09-17 92,030
2020-09-24 94,049
2020-10-01 82,504
2020-10-08 113,046
2020-10-15 113,911
2020-10-22 128,838
2020-10-29 132,234
2020-11-03 141,072
2020-11-10 149,172
2020-11-17 153,064
2020-11-24 154,838
2020-12-01 155,309
2020-12-08 163,218
2020-12-15 169,036
2020-12-22 171,399
2020-12-29 172,997
2021-01-05 174,103

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