COVID-19 testing sites in Manitoba to accept self-referrals

By | May 13, 2020

WINNIPEG — Community COVID-19 testing sites in Manitoba will begin accepting self-referrals this week.

Lanette Siragusa, the chief nursing officer for Shared Health said starting on Thursday, Manitobans no longer need to call Health Links before going to a testing site.

“The testing continues to be directed for those people who show symptoms – whether cold or flu symptoms,” she said. “But if you have symptoms, you don’t have to call Health Links, you should be going to the online screening tool.”

Siragusa said if Manitobans meet the testing criteria in the online screening tool, they can go directly to a designated testing site.

She said Manitobans with mild symptoms should be tested. Symptoms include a fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, fatigue, headaches, skin rashes, nausea or loss of appetite.

At the site, Manitobans will be asked questions about their symptoms and given information about self-isolating. People who are tested can confirm negative test results online. Those who test positive will receive a call from public health officials.

Siragusa said for people who are immunocompromised or homebound, Shared Health will send someone to them. This service is currently only in Winnipeg. People must make an appointment before receiving testing.

There are currently 16 testing sites throughout the province. Times and addresses for these sites can be found online. 

DIAGNOSTIC APPOINTMENTS TO RAMP UP

Siragusa said the province will begin ramping up diagnostic appointments, specifically for MRI, ultrasound, and CT Scans.

“We will start this process by rescheduling some of the postponed appointments over the next couple of weeks,” she said.

Beginning now until May 22, diagnostics is aiming to schedule 2,000 diagnostic imaging appointments. She said the appointments will be rescheduled appointments that were cancelled previously.

She said they are looking at building capacity again, knowing there may be points in the future where they have to pull back.

“Right now, we are going to make the most of these low case numbers.”

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