MANITOBA TO EXPAND COVID-19 RAPID ANTIGEN TESTING PROGRAMS TO SYMPTOMATIC DESIGNATED STAFF IN CRITICAL SERVICE AREAS

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Programs to Enhance Access to Testing, Protect Vulnerable Populations: Squires, Cullen

The Manitoba government will roll out COVID-19 rapid antigen testing programs for designated critical service workers to enhance access to testing and protect vulnerable Manitobans, Families Minister Rochelle Squires and Education Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“This expanded use of rapid antigen tests supplied by the province for critical service areas is intended to enhance access to testing for designated workers and allow them to return to work sooner,” said Squires. “Tests will be provided for all designated staff in critical service areas who are symptomatic and work directly with clients and vulnerable populations.”

Currently, rapid tests are provided for asymptomatic designated staff under public health orders who have not provided proof that they are fully vaccinated. This includes school and licensed child-care facility personnel, public servants who regular have direct and ongoing or prolonged direct contact with vulnerable populations, child and family service personnel and funded agency personnel in direct contact with vulnerable populations, among others.

Eligibility for rapid antigen tests is being expanded to include all designated staff in critical service areas who are symptomatic and work:

  • in early learning and child-care facilities;
  • with Community Living disABILITY Services service providers;
  • with child and family services group care providers;
  • in homeless and family violence shelters;
  • in Manitoba Families, working in front-line positions with clients; and
  • as school teachers or staff with direct and ongoing or prolonged contact with kindergarten to Grade 12 students.

Given the limited supply of rapid tests, kits will not be made available for healthy staff to have on hand in case they become ill. Tests will be provided directly to staff who are already showing COVID-19 symptoms and are scheduled to work in the near future (within three days). Home-based early learning and child care providers who become symptomatic and would like to access testing supplies should contact their child care co-ordinator.

Full Article here: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=53180&posted=2022-01-11