'It’s necessary': Manitoba expands scope of COVID-19 testing
WINNIPEG -- Premier Brian Pallister is expanding who can be tested for COVID-19.
The announcement was made during a news conference Tuesday morning at the Manitoba Legislative Building, with Pallister saying the province is planning to triple its testing capacity by the end of the summer.
“A critical element of our flattening efforts so far, and what has contributed to Manitoba’s success, is our high levels of testing and tracking, and of self-isolation practices,” the premier said.
“It’s necessary to increase our testing so we can ensure the health and well-being of Manitobans through effective monitoring of COVID as we look towards a strategy of restarting our economy.”
Testing has been expanded to any Manitoban with symptoms of COVID-19, even mild symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat and runny nose. The expansion of testing will help determine how the virus is spreading.
Dynacare will be performing tests alongside Cadham Provincial Laboratory starting Tuesday. The province expects the decision will allow 3,000 tests per day.
Dynacare has been performing tests for Manitoba since April out of its lab in Ontario and has completed 557 tests as of April 27.
During the announcement, Pallister noted Dynacare is in the process of adding a laboratory in Manitoba to help with testing.
While testing criteria are expanding, Pallister reminded Manitobans to remain vigilant and work to keep flattening the curve.
“There is the potential, even with the curve beginning to flatten, that it can rise again, and we don’t want to see that happen,” he said.
As of Monday, a total of 272 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Manitoba, and 25,543 tests have been completed at Cadham Provincial Laboratory.