Drive-thru COVID-19 testing site coming to Dauphin

Winnipeg's first drive-thru testing centre for COVID-19. On Thursday MPI announced its service centre in Dauphin will be converted into to a drive-thru testing site. Michael Draven/Global News

Manitoba Public Insurance is closing its service centre in Dauphin so it can be used as a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site.

The crown corporation says the service centre will close at the end of the day Thursday. Then it will be converted into a testing centre.

“Manitobans are working together during these very difficult times,” said Manitoba’s Crown Services Minister, Jeff Wharton, in a release Thursday morning.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: 1 new case brings total to 36 in Manitoba; testing criteria widened slightly

“I want to thank MPI for its continued community leadership and cooperation with this effort. Working together, we will overcome this challenge stronger than ever before.”

An opening date for the new drive-thru centre has not been announced, and MPI stressed Manitobans should not visit the site without being directed to do so.

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Prairie Mountain Health will make an announcement when the site is ready to open, MPI said.

As of Thursday morning, Manitoba had 36 probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19, including at least one from the Prairie Mountain Health region.

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A number of testing sites have been set up across Manitoba, and on Thursday the province announced two new drive-in sites will open in Eriksdale and Portage la Prairie Friday. The province said community testing sites are also scheduled to open in Daulphin Saturday and Pine Falls on Monday.

In a release earlier in the day Thursday the province had said the Pine Falls location would be opening Friday, but later corrected the date.

The new locations will bring the total number of sites in Manitoba to 16.

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Information on locations and hours of operation of the sites are available on the province’s website.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Province asks Manitoba businesses to help manufacture supplies

As of Wednesday 5,606 tests have been performed at testing sites across the province.

Anyone concerned about their exposure or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 to be screened to see if a test is required.

Manitoba Public Insurance says all remaining customer appointments scheduled at the Dauphin service centre will be cancelled and impacted customers will be contacted directly.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Manitoba’s first drive-thru testing site opens in Selkirk'
Coronavirus: Manitoba’s first drive-thru testing site opens in Selkirk

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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