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.

 

On this page:

 


 

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:

  • People with symptoms when knowing if they have COVID-19 is important for their medical care. This includes, but is not limited to people who:
  • People with symptoms when knowing if they have COVID-19 is important for the ongoing surveillance of COVID-19 activity and variants in Manitoba. This may include people who:
    • are moderately or severely immunocompromised,
    • have traveled outside of Canada in the past 14 days, or
    • live in a congregate setting (e.g., personal care home or community residential home/facility) especially if there has been no known case in the facility or specific unit in last 14 days.
  • People advised by public health officials, which might include investigating confirmed or suspected outbreaks in high-risk settings.

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 unable to follow directions - this may be due to their age (chronological or developmental) or if there is a language barrier
  • individuals with a health condition that makes them or others assisting them unable to perform a nose swab, do the test, or read the result - e.g., a neurological disease that makes it hard for them to self-swab
  • individuals who are unable to safely perform a self-swab or it is unsafe for someone at home to swab them - e.g., difficulties holding their head back or difficulties holding their head still

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:

  • Perform hand hygiene.
  • Tilt your head back a little bit.
  • Take the swab provided in the kit and put it straight back (not up) into one nostril. Stop when you meet resistance (about 2 cm in).
  • Turn the swab against the inside of your nose 3 to 4 times.
  • Then use the same swab and do the same thing in the other nostril.

 

Follow the manufacturer instructions on how to perform the test:

  • Abbott PanBio™ Test Kit
    Note: Health Canada has extended the shelf life of Abbott PanBio tests to 24 months from the date it was manufactured. Individuals who have these rapid tests at home should use the date of manufacture printed on the packaging to determine the true expiry date and disregard the other expiry information. Health Canada's extended approval took place after the packages were printed and tests were distributed.
  • Roche Diagnostics SD Biosensor
  • CoviDix SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test
  • Quidel QuickVue SARS Antigen Test (Disregard Step 1 if Reagent Comes in Individual Vial)
    Note: Health Canada has extended the shelf life of Quidel QuickVue tests to 24 months from the date it was manufactured. Individuals who have these rapid tests at home should use the date of manufacture printed on the packaging to determine the true expiry date and disregard the other expiry information. Health Canada's extended approval took place after the packages were printed and tests were distributed.
  • BTNX Rapid Response

 

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.

  • Although your rapid antigen tests are negative, you should continue to isolate until you do not have fever and your other symptoms have been improving over the past 24 hours.

If your symptoms worsen you should speak with your health care provider or call Health Links - Info SantÚ 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.

 

 

How to Use the Map

  • RA Test Kit distributors are indicated on the map with icons for Retail , Community Libraries , and Pharmacies .
  • Click a RA Test Kit distributor icon in the map to see store hours and contact information for that distributor.
  • Press the + and - buttons on the map to zoom the map in and out, or use the scroll wheel on your mouse.
  • RA Test Kit distributor icons with a number indicate multiple distributors within an area. Zoom in to view distributors more precisely.
  • Use the Locate icon to zoom to your current location.
  • Use the Home icon to return to the full map and list of distributors.

How to Use the List

  • Browse the list of RA Test Kit distributors that currently have kits available.
  • The list will include distributors that are currently displayed on the map.
  • The list can be sorted alphabetically by town/city or site name by selecting City or town or Site name at the top right of the list.
  • Select a distributor from the list to zoom to its location on the map. Click on the home icon to return to the full map and list of distributors.
  • Click the Show French Services button to filter distributors that have services available in French. To remove the filter, click Remove French filter.