News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

December 16, 2020

PROVINCE PARTNERS WITH RED RIVER COLLEGE TO BUILD RAPID-TESTING CAPACITY TO PROTECT MANITOBANS

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Province Supporting Training for Targeted Testing Approach to be Launched in January: Pallister

The government of Manitoba is partnering with Red River College to launch a new micro-credential that will build a skilled workforce to support Manitoba’s rapid test strategy for COVID-19, Premier Brian Pallister and Fred Meier, president and CEO of Red River College, announced today. 
 
“Our government’s number one priority in the face of this pandemic is to protect Manitobans and halt the spread of this deadly virus,” said Pallister. “With the launch of this new micro-credential, Manitoba will be well-positioned to support the creation of targeted rapid testing initiatives to protect our front-line workers and the Manitobans they care for.”
 
The premier noted the province will launch a dedicated COVID-19 rapid testing service pilot for teachers in Winnipeg in the new year, which will help support the health and wellness of Manitoba’s school communities.
 
Students of the new Red River College course will learn how to use best practices in testing performance for COVID-19 and the technical skills needed to support the launch of a Fast Pass rapid testing pilot for teachers in the new year.  Participants of the free RRC micro-credential can expect six hours of theory and a five-hour lab component, totalling 11 hours of instruction, conducted over five days.
 
”Our government is committed to partnering with industry leaders like Red River College to create made-in-Manitoba solutions that will help save lives,” said Pallister. “While vaccinations are beginning in Manitoba for targeted groups, we must continue to stick to the fundamentals and stay home to support our health-care and front-line workers at this crucial time in our fight against COVID-19.”
 
The first cohort of the Red River College course is expected to start early January, and will focus on skills needed to use the Songbird Hyris bCUBE and other rapid tests. The program is being offered free to eligible applicants with a foundation in science and/or working in a laboratory setting including:
medical laboratory assistants or technicians with laboratory-related work experience;
graduates of a science or chemical and biosciences technology program;
graduates of a pharmaceutical manufacturing program; and
graduates with a bachelor of science degree with a major or minor in biology, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, chemistry, microbiology or zoology.
 
Others may be considered based on previous experience in a laboratory environment or with pipetting.
 
“The micro-credentials Red River College has created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic generate more opportunities for professionals with the necessary experience to leverage their existing training, while updating and enhancing their skills to align with current provincial health-care demands. Our top priority is delivering the skills and training that our workforce needs now, and we believe micro-credentials are the future of lifelong learning in Manitoba,” said Meier. 
 
For more information about the Red River College micro-credential, visit:
www.rrc.ca/covidtesting
 
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The Province of Manitoba is distributing this release on behalf of 
the government of Manitoba and Red River College.