Testing Advice and Guidance

Novel Coronavirus COVID-19

COVID-19 Testing Advice and Guidance

Testing can help determine if you have COVID-19. This is an important step to help reduce the spread of the virus.

If you have had a previous COVID-19 infection, it is possible to have COVID-19 again. However, it is uncommon to get COVID-19 again within three to six months of your last infection. If it has been less than four months since your last COVID-19 infection and you have symptoms again, testing is not routinely recommended, but you should continue to isolate until you do not have fever and your other symptoms have been improving over the past 24 hours. However, if you are at high risk of severe disease, health care providers may recommend testing regardless of the time since your previous infection.

If it has been more than four months since your last COVID-19 infection and you have symptoms again, testing is recommended.


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PCR Testing

The PCR test performed at a laboratory is the "gold standard" test because it is more sensitive. For some people, and in some circumstances, it is recommended that a PCR test be provided. Only eligible people can access PCR testing in Manitoba. Your health care provider will determine whether a PCR test is needed based on your specific situation, which may include:

Eligible people can access PCR testing through the following locations, or from their health care provider.

Location Hours of Operation

Dakota Medical Centre

17-845 Dakota St., Winnipeg

By appointment only.
Book by calling 204-254-2087 or visiting www.dakotamedical.ca

Monday to Friday, 5:00 p.m. to 5:20 p.m.
Saturday to Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Minor Illness and Injury Clinic

102-1001 Corydon Ave., Winnipeg

By appointment only.
Book by visiting: www.covidwpg.com

Monday to Friday, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday to Sunday, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed on holidays.

Individuals who have had a PCR test for COVID-19 can access all of their previous test results at the Shared Health portal at https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/test-results/. Individuals who experience an issue accessing their records can request support at https://forms.gov.mb.ca/covid-immunization-record-request/index.html.

If PCR testing is not recommended for you, you can use a rapid antigen test.



Rapid Antigen Testing

COVID-19 rapid antigen tests detect proteins on the surface and inside of the COVID-19 virus. These proteins are released after breaking up the virus using a simple soap solution, which is provided with the test.

These tests are easy to use and give results quickly. Most provide a result within 10 to 20 minutes, which reflects your health status at the time of the test. Rapid antigen tests are single use only. It is a good idea to have tests on hand before you develop symptoms.

Rapid antigen test kits are currently available free of charge at many locations across the province, including pharmacies, doctors offices, retail locations, community libraries and City of Winnipeg facilities https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/testing.html#rat-locations.

Rapid antigen tests are safe to use and most have been authorized for use by Health Canada for use on individuals two years or older. However, doing a swab on a young child can be challenging. Adults should perform the nasal swab for young children and supervise older youth as they perform a nasal swab. Further information on the safety of rapid antigen test kits can be found at: Rapid antigen test kits and potential exposure to hazardous substances - Canada.ca

A self-administered rapid antigen test may not be suitable for everyone. They may not be suitable for:

Individuals who are symptomatic, recommended to be tested and are unable to take a self-test should visit a health care provider.

Instructions on how to use rapid antigen tests are included in each kit. Pay particular attention to how to collect the best sample and the incubation time (the time you need to wait until you read the results). Not following the steps properly, including not waiting long enough or waiting too long to read the test result, can lead to an incorrect result.


Rapid Antigen Test - Nasal Swab Instructions:


Follow the manufacturer instructions on how to perform the test:


Expired Tests

Each manufacturer of rapid antigen tests has determined a different expiry/shelf-life for their product. If your test kit has expired, it can be safely discarded in household waste. Many kits can be separated into recyclable paper and regular waste.


Results from a Rapid Antigen Test - Next Steps

If you get a positive result, you should:

If you get a negative result, it means that COVID-19 was not detected, but you may still have COVID-19. If you continue to feel sick or your symptoms get worse, it is recommended you test at least once more and wait one to two days between tests.

If your symptoms worsen you should speak with your health care provider or call Health Links - Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257.


Invalid Test

If your rapid antigen tests result is invalid (doesn't match negative or positive), repeat the test.



Rapid Antigen Test Locations

Manitobans are encouraged to pick up rapid antigen tests to have on hand, before they develop symptoms. Rapid antigen test kits are currently available free of charge across the province. Please note that hours and supply are subject to change.



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