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NDP MLA calls for increased COVID testing in northern Manitoba

NDP MLA calls for increased COVID testing in northern Manitoba
Canada
Thompson NDP MLA Danielle Adams is calling on the Manitoba government to increase COVID-19 testing sites in Thompson and northern Manitoba.

There is currently one testing site in Thompson, which is open from Monday to Friday. There are three testing sites in total in northern Manitoba, two others being in The Pas and Flin Flon.

On Monday, four additional COVID-19 cases were detected in the city of Thompson. Currently, there are seven active cases in the Thompson/Mystery Lake district. Last Wednesday, Adams sent a letter via email to the provincial Health Minister requesting a second testing site in Thompson.

“We have seen how COVID-19 can grow exponentially. The site currently shares a space with the walk-in clinic, and it only has one nurse doing testing,” said Adams on Tuesday.

“We know that testing is key in keeping cases low. My concern is that the current site would not meet the requirements very quickly if we end up with even one case in the schools. Northerners have done a great job in sacrificing and to keep the north safe, and we want to continue that.”

Adams decided to write to the Health Minister after seeing the number of cases grow as well as seeing the province scrambling to create testing sites in Winnipeg. She does not want to see that in northern Manitoba and therefore, choose to call on the government to take action.

“Right now, our testing site can only accommodate 50 people. I am concerned that the testing site with one nurse would only be able to handle a limited amount of cases. Our schools alone have an upward of 200 to over a thousand kids,” said Adams.

“All it would take is one case in one of those schools, and the testing site would not be adequate. As numbers go up, the numbers of contact testing go up, so I just want to make sure that anyone who wants to be tested can get a test to help keep our numbers low and our community safe.”

As we head into the flu season, Adams also believes that there will be an increasing demand for COVID-19 testing as people would need to determine whether they have contracted the virus.

“We need a second testing site to keep numbers down and help keep northerners safe. With the ongoing cuts this government has done, they are putting northern healthcare at risk, so now it is the time to set up to ensure the northerner’s safety,” said Adams.

According to Adams, the province has yet to respond to her letter.

A provincial spokesperson told Winnipeg Sun that the government is constantly evaluating their testing capacity as well as planning for and adapting to surges in demand.
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