Advertisement

Manitoba continuing to meet demand for coronavirus testing: Shared Health

Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin. Randall Paull/Global News

Manitoba is continuing to meet the demand for novel coronavirus testing as concerns around the crisis grow, according to the province’s Shared Health organization.

Chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa told 680 CJOB that despite the increased workload, Manitoba’s lab workers are keeping up and resources are being increased to help maintain that pace.

“It’s a really fast pace for the lab, but we are keeping up and we’re looking at options to free up more capacity for them,” said Siragusa.

Story continues below advertisement

“We do know from other jurisdictions that it’s a problem everywhere and we’re going to continue to monitor it and work to improve it.”

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Manitoba testing for COVID-19 increased to 500 samples per day, says provincial health official' Coronavirus outbreak: Manitoba testing for COVID-19 increased to 500 samples per day, says provincial health official
Coronavirus outbreak: Manitoba testing for COVID-19 increased to 500 samples per day, says provincial health official – Mar 14, 2020

One area being worked on, she said, is Manitoba’s Health Links/Info Santé phone service, which has been seeing recent wait times of up to an hour and 45 minutes due to a deluge of calls.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“We’re working on strategies and we’ve added quite a lot of staff,” Siragusa said. “I think we’re at 40 people right now working at Health Links, and we’re working with Bell MTS to add additional call lines on there and a few other opportunities to improve the process.”

READ MORE: Latest updates — Coronavirus in Canada

Manitoba’s chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, has been adamant that only people who fit the criteria — who are symptomatic and/or have a history of travel — should get tested to avoid taxing the system, something with which Siragusa agrees.

Story continues below advertisement

“Those are the people we really want to target,” she said.

“Appropriate testing is important and will continue.”

Siragusa said there’s a plan in place in the event testing needs to increase rapidly — an event health-care workers are ready for, with “all hands on deck.”

“We’re hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, quite honestly,” Siragusa said. “Right now, our focus really is on the community preventing, contact tracing, surveillance and getting the communication and education out to the public and the providers.

“We also have an eye on the acute sector, if and when patients are going to need to be in acute care, critical care,” she said.

“We’re getting ready, and I think that’s the best we can do for Manitobans.”

Story continues below advertisement

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Manitoba testing for COVID-19 increased to 500 samples per day, says provincial health official' Coronavirus outbreak: Manitoba testing for COVID-19 increased to 500 samples per day, says provincial health official
Coronavirus outbreak: Manitoba testing for COVID-19 increased to 500 samples per day, says provincial health official – Mar 14, 2020

Sponsored content