News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 26, 2020

Significant Improvements Introduced to Protect Manitobans, Enhance Access to COVID-19 Testing

The Manitoba government has recently introduced a number of significant improvements to protect Manitobans and enhance access to COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, Premier Brian Pallister said today. 
“Our government’s number one priority is to protect Manitobans and to ensure our health-care system is there when we need it,” said Pallister. “Our government has rapidly increased access to COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, to ensure Manitobans can safely get a test when they do, to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community.”
The initiatives include adding new testing sites in Winnipeg and Brandon to increase testing capacity and reduce waits for care. In Winnipeg, the new site at 1066 Nairn Ave. is operating from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and is providing more than 350 tests per day, taking the pressure off other sites around the city. 
The premier noted that additional testing sites are expected to open in the coming weeks, including a drive-thru site at 125 King Edward St. that is expected to open on Oct. 31. Additional sites are being planned at the University of Manitoba and Assiniboia Downs to provide greater access for Manitobans. More details will be shared when the sites are ready to provide services.
Unless recommended by public health officials, 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 COVID-19 symptoms can be found at
A new appointment-booking system introduced in Winnipeg early last week has been expanded to several sites in rural and northern Manitoba, effective today. People can call 1-855-268-4318 (toll-free) or go online to make appointments to get a COVID-19 test at
Since Oct. 20, more than 2,894 appointments have been made by phone and 1,350 online in Winnipeg. Most Manitobans are able to make same-day or next-day appointments within two minutes of calling.
A new micro-credential offered at Red River College to train health-care providers on how to safely perform a nasal swab on adults and children to collect samples to test for the virus has already see its first graduates. Due to significant uptake, the college is expanding the course to train additional providers and will soon be offering training opportunities to health-care professionals in specific areas of rural Manitoba.
Officials have also been working with Doctors Manitoba and community-based doctors’ offices to offer COVID-19 testing. To date, the Dakota Medical Centre at 17-845 Dakota St. in Winnipeg has begun offering testing and has already expanded its hours. Testing at additional locations will become available in the coming days, the minister added.
The province has already redeployed staff to prioritize case investigations, contact tracing and notification and the daily followup of cases and contacts during their self-isolation. A contract has also been signed with the Canadian Red Cross to increase capacity to protect and support Manitobans and reduce transmission of the virus. Staff at the Canadian Red Cross began this work on Friday supporting the daily followup of cases and contacts during their self-isolation, and their services will be expanded in the next few weeks.  
Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living has also launched a campaign for this year’s flu vaccination. The tag line, ‘Add a Layer This Fall’, encourages Manitobans to add an extra layer of protection as the province prepares to deal with the flu season and COVID-19 at the same time.
Manitoba has been shipping vaccines to providers and is expected to receive the full provincial vaccine allotment over the next several weeks, barring any external supply or delivery disruptions. As of Oct. 23, more than 31 per cent more vaccine has been shipped to providers than at this time last year. 
“Now more than ever, it is crucial that Manitobans get their flu shot,” said the premier. “We are reminding Manitobans to make plans to get their flu shot from their pharmacist or doctor as soon as possible, to protect yourself and those you love.”
The provincial government has also requested authority from the Manitoba legislature to spend an additional half-a-billion dollars on its COVID-19 response to protect Manitobans. The supplementary appropriation would provide government departments the additional spending authority for $577 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit
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