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Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks at Queen's Park, in Toronto, on June 30, 2020.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Premier Doug Ford says migrant workers are “hiding” from COVID-19 testing going on in Windsor-Essex – a region struggling with outbreaks on farms.

Ford says efforts to ramp up testing on farms is being hindered by a lack of co-operation from the workers themselves.

The premier urged migrant workers to get tested for the virus and promised they would not be sent home if they tested positive.

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Ford says the government has been working with local health officials and municipalities to address a spike in COVID-19 cases that has held Leamington and Kingsville, Ont., back from reopening.

The Windsor-Essex Health Unit ordered a work stoppage at one local farm Wednesday after 191 workers tested positive for the virus over the weekend.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says migrant workers are 'hiding' from COVID-19 testing in the Windsor-Essex region, hindering efforts to ramp up on-farm screenings. The Canadian Press

Both Ford and the health unit declined to name the farm where the outbreak has occurred.

On Thursday, Ontario reported 153 new cases of COVID-19 and four new deaths related to the novel coronavirus. The total number of cases now stands at 35,370, which includes 30,730 marked as resolved and 2,680 deaths.

The province completed more than 24,300 tests for the novel coronavirus over the previous 24 hours.

Meanwhile, a new mobile app meant to help with contact tracing of COVID-19 cases won’t roll out across Ontario today as planned.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health says the province is still working with the federal government and the app is expected to launch soon.

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