News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 16, 2020

PROVINCE OPENS NEW TESTING SITE IN BRANDON, PARTNERS WITH RED CROSS TO CONDUCT CONTACT TRACING

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Expanded Testing Options, New Contact Tracing Capacity Continues the Fight against COVID-19: Friesen

A new drive-up site for COVID-19 testing will open tomorrow at the Keystone Centre, 1175-18th St. in Brandon, and additional contact tracing capacity is being activated, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.

“Our government is exploring every avenue to expand our options in the COVID-19 response, particularly as we are seeing cases on the rise,” said Friesen. “More testing sites mean Manitobans can access testing faster, and expanded contact tracing options means we will have more information we can use to combat the effects of COVID in our communities.”

The new Keystone Centre testing site will operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and weekends, and from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The site will add immediate additional capacity in Brandon, performing up to 120 tests per day once fully established, adding to the overall system capacity in Manitoba’s second-largest city.

The location joins other recently established testing sites in Manitoba, including a drive-through site at 1066 Nairn Ave. and a mobile unit at 1181 Portage Ave. in Winnipeg. An additional Winnipeg location at 125 King Edward St. East is expected to open in late October.
 
Additional drive-through and drive-up sites will open in Winkler, Portage la Prairie and Arborg in the coming days and weeks. Details about locations in these communities will be provided as sites prepare to open.

“The Canadian Red Cross has been selected to provide additional contact tracing services for the province,” said Friesen. “Having the additional support from Red Cross builds contact tracing capacity, which is critical to managing increased case counts and a greater volume of associated close contacts.”

Case and contact investigation of confirmed cases of COVID-19 remains one of the most effective public health strategies to reduce transmission in our province. This work will be undertaken by regional public health staff, the Public Health COVID-19 Contact Centre, Canadian Red Cross and other partners to support case investigation, contact tracing and daily follow-up of cases and contacts during their self-isolation. Statistics Canada, through an agreement with the federal government, will also be providing contact tracing services to Manitoba.
 
This additional contact tracing capacity from the Canadian Red Cross will come online once their initial set-up and planning period is complete.

Manitobans are reminded that only individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should go for testing. Individuals with symptoms are asked to seek testing as soon as possible once symptoms are present. Employers are asked to only send employees for testing if they have symptoms or if testing has been recommended by public health officials.
 
The online assessment tool can be found at https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/screening-tool/ and COVID-19 symptoms can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/about.html#collapse4.
 
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/COVID19.

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