WINNIPEG - Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says Manitoba has reached an important milestone for COVID-19 testing, after administering more than 500,000 tests at sites across the province. The province says since more than 1,500 more tests were performed over the weekend, the province has now completed just over 500,800 since February of last year.
Health Minister Heather Stefanson says immediate testing is an essential key to the government’s COVID-19 response to stop the spread of the virus. "The wide availability of our testing centres and fast test result turnaround have helped us keep our COVID-19 curve low in the last few weeks,” Stefanson says. The minister adds testing played a valuable role in the province recently being able to allow several types of businesses to reopen, and activities that had previously been restricted to resume.
Dr. Roussin says COVID-19 testing and isolating is important whenever someone is showing symptoms, but notes everyone can help keep Manitoba’s case numbers down by practicing fundamentals that include staying home when sick, handwashing frequently, and wearing a mask as required.
The province says its COVID-19 test rollout is based on evidence from public health data, and as COVID-19 discoveries have been made over the past year, test eligibility in Manitoba has also evolved. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms is eligible to get tested, and health officials say only people who have symptoms or are told to by healthcare workers should visit a test site.