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New COVID-19 mobile test site opens in Winnipeg

Click to play video 'Winnipeg’s new COVID-19 testing site is now open' Winnipeg’s new COVID-19 testing site is now open
A new COVID-19 testing site opens in Winnipeg Wednesday. Abigail Turner has more.

As cases rise and lines to get tested lengthen, a new mobile test site opened Wednesday in Winnipeg.

Located at Portage and Wall Street, the site is a partnership between the provincial government, Shared Health, and medical laboratory service Dynacare.

The province said Wednesday that the site would open seven days a week from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

“Initially, the mobile site will add immediate additional capacity in Winnipeg, while new drive-thru sites are set up in the city,” said the province.

“After this, provincial public health information will be used to determine where the mobile site will be deployed in Manitoba if a community requires a rapid increasing in capacity to deal with a spike in cases.”

The three additional drive-thru sites will be on Regent Avenue West, one near Polo Park on King Edward Street and a to-be-determined site in southern Winnipeg.

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Those are expected to open over the next few weeks.

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The province said more drive-thru sites are coming for Brandon, Winkler, Portage la Prairie and Dauphin in October.

Dr. Jenisa Naidoo of Dynacare told 680 CJOB on Monday that this is only the first mobile unit. Three new testing sites — two in Winnipeg and one in Brandon — will open as early as mid-October, with their exact locations to be announced by the province.

Read more: Mobile unit for COVID-19 testing planned for Winnipeg Wednesday

“Dynacare’s actually hiring staff as we speak, … recruiting for those three sites that are opening in October. That’s all new staff, not existing staff,” she said.

“For the mobile unit, we actually have the staff already. It’s a smaller unit. It’s not going to have large capacity.”

Lines at Winnipeg’s four testing sites have been long over the past two weeks, with sites regularly filling up to capacity before noon.

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Cases in Manitoba reached 1,953 Tuesday, with 1,327 recovered. The number of daily tests has ranged from about 1,500 to 2,000 for the past several days.