News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

August 20, 2020

PROVINCE ISSUES REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS TO INCREASE CONTACT TRACING SERVICES FOR COVID-19



The Manitoba government has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to provide additional COVID-19 contact tracing services for the province, Health, Seniors, and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen and Central Services Minister Reg Helwer announced today.
 
“Our government is preparing for what lies ahead to be sure we are ready to live with COVID-19, ready to return to work and ready to return to school,” said Friesen. “We are moving ahead to add capacity for COVID-19 contact tracing to alert and inform Manitobans in a quick and timely manner, ensuring we are better prepared to respond to and navigate through the COVID challenges ahead.”
 
Contact tracing and case investigation are critical steps to providing effective support to monitor and manage the transmission of COVID-19.
 
“It is important that we do we everything we can to identify and isolate cases and contacts early, to further limit the spread of the virus and protect those at increased risk,” says Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer. “As we prepare to experience ‘hills and valleys’ in the transmission of this virus, ensuring we have the capacity to ramp up contact tracing if needed will help Manitoba’s response and recovery efforts.”
 
Contact tracing is broken into three co-ordinated services including case investigation, contact tracing and daily follow-up during isolation. The Public Health COVID-19 Contact Centre was established in April to support the province’s COVID-19 response by providing additional support to Public Health officials responsible for making daily contact with individuals isolating after being identified as close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases. The province is looking to build additional capacity as the need for support increases with increased case counts and associated close contacts.
 
“The health system’s existing contact tracing and case investigation functions have proven invaluable during the first few months of this pandemic,” said Helwer. “By acquiring the additional contact tracing services, Manitobans can be confident their government is doing everything it can to be prepared for what this virus will pose in the months ahead.”
 
To further ensure emergency preparedness, a Manitoba Emergency Response Warehouse (MERW) will be established to create a sustainable approach to stockpiling critical supplies and equipment going forward. The MERW will host a robust supply of medical equipment and materials, including personal protective equipment, to reinforce health-care system and public-sector supplies, Helwer noted.
 
The RFP has been posted to MERX at www.merx.com under an open tendering process. The deadline for proposals is Sept. 9.
 
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