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Manitoba Offers Rapid Testing to Industries in Effort to Catch Asymptomatic Spread

April 19, 2021 9:38 AM | News

Coronavirus Test

A health-care worker tests at a drive-thru COVID-19 assessment centre at the Etobicoke General Hospital in Toronto on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

WINNIPEG — The province is partnering with Manitoba’s business community to deploy rapid COVID-19 testing of asymptomatic individuals.

“We are partnering with Manitoba businesses and critical services to make the best use of our rapid test supply with the goal of identifying asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the workplace and other critical settings that would otherwise go undetected,” said Health Minister Heather Stefanson.

“This rapid test program will help us protect more Manitobans as we deal with a rise in COVID-19 cases.”

The program builds on the current Fast Pass asymptomatic rapid testing in place for teachers and education workers.

Partner organizations have received a three-month supply of nasal swab test and are responsible for administering them, tracking, and reporting test results to the province. Results are available within about 20 minutes of the test being administered.

Red River College will support the pilot by offering participants a two-hour virtual training module on nasal swabbing and how to conduct a rapid test.

The initial rollout includes the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, Manitoba’s Wildfire Service, Winkler Meats, Alamos Gold Inc., and Air Canada.

The province says depending on uptake and results, the program may expand to other industries such as construction or transportation or look to implement other delivery models, such as pop-up screening clinics at a later date.