Manitoba looking for additional COVID-19 contact tracing support

By | August 20, 2020

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is looking to increase the capacity for COVID-19 contact tracing.

A request for proposals was issued on Thursday, seeking additional contract-tracing services to inform Manitobans if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The tender closes on Sept. 9.

“It is obvious to us that we must always be looking to get more capacity. This doesn’t represent a high water mark,” said Cameron Friesen, who is the minister of health, seniors and active living.

“We know from Dr. Roussin, a second wave in the fall could see a significant impact, so I think this us not resting on our laurels but continuing to hope for the best, but plan for every scenario.”

Currently, the Public Health COVID-19 Contact Centre, established in April, handles contact tracing in Manitoba. It investigates cases, finds out where cases have been, and performs daily follow-up during isolation.

In a news release, the province said it is looking to build additional capacity as the need for support grows with increased case counts and associated close contacts.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial health officer for Manitoba, was also asked if the province is still looking at creating a contact tracing app.

“It’s still on the table. We are still reviewing that. We don’t have any imminent plans to implement that. Like I said, it is going to be in addition to contract tracing. It is not going to replace it,” said Roussin.

The province will also establish a Manitoba Emergency Response Warehouse to help stockpile medical supplies and equipment, including personal protective equipment.

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