WINNIPEG - The organization representing Manitoba's Metis community has hired a Winnipeg-based bioinformation services company to provide COVID-19 testing exclusively to those Metis citizens. The MMF says Intrinsic Analytics will collect and process test samples, and will report results within a day. While the federation says it doesn’t want citizens to avoid the provincially-funded test sites, having one staffed by a company they hired gives Metis people more choice and a more direct relationship with families.
The provincial government says they welcome additional options, but notes it takes an average of 30 seconds to arrange an appointment to get a COVID-19 test provided by the province, and 22 hours on average to receive the result. MMF leaders also met with Health and Seniors Care Minister Heather Stefanson this week to discuss coordination with Manitoba Health around results reported by the firm and contact tracing for positive cases.
The province says it has engaged with indigenous leaders throughout their response to COVID-19, and continues to do so. The government says they've invited the MMF to join the Indigenous Vaccination Communications Working Group, and that Indigenous and Northern Relations, led by Minister Eileen Clarke, has also reached out to the federation.