WINNIPEG -- The province is making it easier for Manitobans to find out about their COVID-19 test results.

The provincial government announced on Friday that starting immediately, people who have been tested for COVID-19 and provided their cell phone number will receive a text message saying their results are ready online.

The government said the results will not be shown in the text message for safety and privacy reasons.

"The Manitoba government will not use the phone number provided except to notify people about their test results or perform contact tracing, if necessary," the province said in a news release.

The province will not send a text message to anyone who doesn't provide a number, but results will still be available online when they are ready.

"Text message notifications will be available for tests taken at a limited number of testing sites in Winnipeg to start, and will be expanded to more sites throughout the province in the coming days."

The province hopes this change will mean fewer calls to Health Links.

For information on testing and to make an appointment for a COVID-19 test, people can call 1-855-268-4318 or visit the province's website.

Health officials are reminding Manitobans to only get tested if they are experiencing symptoms.