Statistics Canada and contact tracing

Statistics Canada expertise in demand

Statistics Canada expertise and interviewing competencies coupled with its human resource capacity are in high demand to assist in the COVID-19 contact tracing efforts at the federal and provincial levels.

Contact tracing is the process of getting in touch with people who may have been exposed to the virus and making sure they are taking measures to control its spread. This is done so these individuals can be informed of their possible infection and take measures to quarantine and be monitored for symptoms. This helps to ensure they receive the necessary care and treatment and helps prevent further transmission.

Contact tracing activities are led by the provinces and territories; however, as the federal government has access to a significant number of experienced and fully equipped human resources able to do this work, it has extended an offer of support to the provinces and territories, if needed, to help meet increased demands due to COVID-19.

Consequently, Statistics Canada is in close contact and communication with all interested provinces/territories and federal health departments and agencies. At this time, Statistics Canada has signed agreements with the provinces of Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. We are also in discussions with several provinces and territories.

The following table is updated weekly to demonstrate the calls completed for contact tracing for the provinces. The daily capacity column is the number of calls which Statistics Canada is actually able to conduct for the province should the need arise.

Calls Made for Contact Tracing
Description - Calls Made for Contact Tracing
Calls made and daily capacity for contact tracing
Period Total calls completed Daily capacity
Sunday, November 15 2,013 17,700
Monday, November 16 2,147 17,700
Tuesday, November 17 2,356 18,360
Wednesday, November 18 2,734 18,700
Thursday, November 19 3,328 18,700
Friday, November 20 3,339 18,700
Saturday, November 21 2,193 18,700
Total 18,110 128,560
Note: Daily capacity as of November 21: 18,700 calls
Source: Statistics Canada, Contact Tracing

Statistics Canada's employees have been actively helping our health agencies, researchers and front line practitioners with a variety of tools, data and expertise to help manage the current pandemic. These efforts include providing data standards, technical infrastructure and systems support for better tracking and understanding the number of cases, personal protective equipment and the social and economic impacts on vulnerable populations. Also, Statistics Canada's interviewers are leveraging their special skill set and expertise to respond to immediate needs. Our interviewers, who have bilingual capacity and proficiency in more than 35 languages, are conducting calls related to contact tracing on behalf of the provinces.

Statistics Canada will continue to adhere to strict privacy and confidentiality measures, keep the Office of the Privacy Commissioner fully apprised of the approach and specific activities and outline them here for Canadians to be fully aware and be available to answer any questions or concerns they may have.

We are committed to helping Canadians remain safe and healthy through using our data and expertise responsibly, being fully transparent and available. Any questions can be sent to STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca.

Date modified: