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New Course to Train Students in COVID-19 Testing

October 14, 2020 7:27 PM | News

Coronavirus Test

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

WINNIPEG — The province is partnering with Red River College to train individuals to perform nasal swabs and increase COVID-19 testing in Manitoba.

The course can be completed in as little as five hours and will be offered tuition-free to students through RRC’s School of Continuing Education.

The course is designed to train a number of health-care workers and students studying for a career in health care to safely perform a nasal swab to collect samples to test for the virus.

“The development of this new micro-credential is just one example of how we are able to quickly adapt and design programs that support the needs of industry and our community,” said Fred Meier, president and CEO, Red River College.

“As the college continues to evolve the ways it delivers education in the face of COVID-19, we are proud to offer this new micro-credential that will prepare our front line and students from a variety of health-care programs to help reduce the spread of the virus.”

Those who complete the course will be added to a pool of qualified candidates who can support testing sites in Winnipeg and across Manitoba where needed. The college will initially train up to 30 students a week and will add capacity as required.

Additional testing sites opening

Three new additional testing sites, two in Winnipeg and one in Brandon, will open in the next several weeks, bringing the total of nine drive-thru test sites in Manitoba, which will remain available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The drive-thru site at 1066 Nairn Avenue in Winnipeg opened this week. The additional Winnipeg location at 125 King Edward Street East is expected to open in late October, and a drive-up site will open in Brandon at the Keystone Centre on October 17.

The province is also working on a new system where appointments can be made either online or over the phone to receive a COVID-19 test. Further details are expected in the coming weeks.