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LIVE: Premier Doug Ford calls on manufacturers to retool to help produce critical healthcare items

New online portal will help connect businesses that can help with the province


Premier Doug Ford says over 35,000 people have used the online interactive self-assessment tool as of Friday night.

"I want to remind everyone to please use this tool if you're experiencing symptoms. Please do not visit an assessment centre if you have not been advised to do so by a healthcare professional," said Ford.

Fedeli and deputy finance minister are "all over this," says Ford.

"We're ready to mobilize Ontario's manufacturing might to help the entire country. We want Ontario to be the workshop of Canada in the fight against COVID-19," Ford says.

Healthcare workers are running out of key items: ventilators, face masks, surgical gowns, protective eyewear, hand sanitizer, swabs, lab testing equipment and others.

Ford urged business owners who can retool to provide those essential products to contact the government.

"We need to hear from you right now," said Ford.

The province has launched a new website to connect with manufacturers.

Fedeli: Ontario government's job is to make it as easy as possible for entrepreneurs and businesses to work with the government.

The new government portal ( will help determine where the need is greatest and solicit advice on how that need can be best met.

Ford: Ontario is a "manufacturing powerhouse," and "we're going to step up."

Elliot: All hospitals have ventilators. The province has 200 ventilators that were available to other hospitals and the Health Ministry has just received 300 more.

The province is calling on manufacturers to help produce more because of how important they are in treating serious cases of COVID-19.

"Ventilators are going to be critical to deal with the most critical cases of COVID-19," said Elliot.

Original story:

Premier Doug Ford expected to address Ontarians this afternoon on the province's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ford will be joined by Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, to make an announcement

Village Media will provide updates as they are available.