Ontario’s COVID-19 Genomics Rapid Response Coalition 



To accelerate the genomic characterization and surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in Ontario and to help expedite patient genome sequencing through a coordinated approach bringing together all of the province’s genomics resources and capacity to enable timely and comprehensive genomic analysis.



Standardized Sequencing Methodologies



Data Management & Sharing

The ON-CoV Coalition is designed to provide for method standardization and coordination of:


Collecting Patient Samples and Metadata




Data Curation and Management


Epidemiological Studies 

This work will expedite real-time testing and reporting to inform public health and public policy, help manage and overcome the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and ensure scalability for Ontario’s future pandemics preparedness.

Why Genomics?

Genomic technologies are the foundation for the solutions necessary to combat the ongoing COVID-19

pandemic. Ontario’s world-leading expertise in genomics, bioinformatics, genomics epidemiology, and artificial intelligence, can expedite Ontario’s response to COVID-19. 

The results reported by the Coalition will inform vaccine and therapeutic development.

Why Ontario Genomics?

Over the past 20 years, Ontario Genomics, together with the Ontario Government, Genome Canada, and academic, clinical and industry partners, has built a world-leading genomics ecosystem in Ontario with over $2.7B in funding leveraged for research, translation and the establishment of genomic technology platforms. 

Ontario Genomics is well-positioned to provide and promote:


ONCoV Genomics Coalition Members

Aaron Campigotto

University of Toronto

Bettina Hamelin

Ontario Genomics

Samira Mubareka

Sunnybrook Health Sciences / University of Toronto

Danielle Brabant-Kirwan

Health Sciences North

Robyn Lee

Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Letitia Nadalin Penno

Canadore College

Nahuel Fittipaldi

Public Health Ontario

Andrew G. McArthur

McMaster University

Marc Fiume


Allison McGeer

Sinai Health Systems

Stephen Scherer

Hospital for Sick Children / University of Toronto


Prameet M. Sheth

Kingston Health Sciences Centre / Queen’s University

Jared Simpson

Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Michael Szego

Unity Health Toronto / University of Toronto

David Villeneuve

Canadore College

Bo Wang

Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, UHN / University of Toronto


Sarah Wootton

University of Guelph


We are proactively working with the research community, partner genome centres, and governments to accelerate the genomic characterization and surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in Ontario. Learn more and stay up-to-date about our COVID-19 programs and important resources.




April 27, 2021

Genome Canada launched the Canadian VirusSeq Data Portal to track the evolving COVID-19 pandemic across Canada. By sharing and resourcing viral genome sequences the portal will offer scientists, public health leaders and other experts involved in shaping Canada’s pandemic response a clear picture of the virus across the country, including detection, transmission, evolution and tracking variants of concern.

Sewage Surveillance: Detecting SARS-CoV-2 Variants in Wastewater across Ontario

June 2, 2021

Ontario Genomics, University of Guelph, University of Ottawa and CHEO announce a game-changing initiative to analyze COVID-19 in wastewater to improve public health response and better understand outbreaks in communities across Ontario

May 5, 2021

Sparse data limit our ability to detect differences in infection rate and highlight the need for Public Health Ontario Laboratory and academic research groups across Ontario to sequence and archive SARS-CoV-2 genomes from COVID-19 cases, particularly over the course of the second wave. Ongoing SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance, like the Canadian COVID Genomics Network (CanCOGeN) initiative, is essential to identify mutations that allow reconstruction of transmission pathways and detection of variants that affect transmissibility, virulence, or host mortality. We're happy to support this need-of-the-hour research through our Ontario COVID-19 Genomics Coalition (ONCoV) Network. 



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