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Rapid COVID-19 Testing for Asymptomatic Staff in Manitoba PCHs

February 8, 2021 10:10 AM | News

Coronavirus Test

WINNIPEG — The province is expanding access to rapid COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic staff working in Manitoba’s personal care homes.

The expansion comes after a four-week trial at three Manitoba PCHs and will encourage staff to be tested once per week, while asymptomatic.

“The fast identification of a positive test result enables the quickest possible action for the facility and the province,” said Health and Seniors Care Minister Heather Stefanson. “Using our available complement of rapid tests to further expand access to this testing will increase the safety of residents and staff in personal care homes.”

Staff with symptoms of COVID-19 or known exposure to the virus continue to be required to stay home and follow public health advice.

During the trial period, 1,422 tests were completed across the three facilities, resulting in the identification of three positive test results.

The initiative uses the Abbott Panbio COVID-19 rapid antigen test, which provides a result in approximately 20 minutes. Staff at the participating sites are being trained to perform the test and results received as ‘positive’ will be reported to public health as probable cases and will be confirmed by a lab-based test.