COVID-19 tests soon available by appointment in rural, northern Manitoba

Manitobans in rural and northern communities will be able to book appointments instead of waiting in line for COVID-19 tests starting next week.

As of Monday, people in Brandon can book appointments for a test at the Keystone Centre. Residents in Dauphin, Thompson, Swan River, The Pas, Winkler and Steinbach will also be able to pre-arrange a test in their communities.

The appointment-based system started in Winnipeg on Monday to improve test access following numerous reports of hours-long wait times at drive-thru sites in the city in recent weeks.

As of this week, Winnipeggers can book a test with their doctor, and appointments are also now available at drive-thru sites and testing sites in the city.

Appointments are expected to take 10 minutes or less, and only people with symptoms are should be tested right now, the province said in a news release.

Roughly 1,500 people were tested through the appointment-based system in the first four days it was in place in Winnipeg, the province said.

Manitobans can book appointments in their communities online or toll-free by calling 1-855-268-4318.

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