Manitoba is expected to roll out rapid COVID-19 tests to critical service workers on Monday, according to provincial officials.
In an announcement Tuesday afternoon, Families Minister Rochelle Squires and Education Minister Cliff Cullen said the goal is to enhance access to testing for those on the front lines.
“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.”
Workers in a number of critical sectors will be eligible for the rapid tests, including those in early learning and child-care, Community Living services, homeless and family violence shelters, child and family services group care, Manitoba Families staff, and teachers or school staff with ongoing contact with K-12 students.
The tests, the province said, will be given directly to staff who are symptomatic, and won’t be kept on hand in case healthy individuals become sick.
Manitoba Education is also working on a program for testing asymptomatic staff and students in schools that are struggling with high case numbers.
“This expansion of rapid antigen testing in schools is an additional measure we are putting in place to support ongoing, in-person learning for students across the province,” said Cullen.
The province said additional plans are underway to deploy rapid tests for corrections staff.
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