Manitoba will rely on rapid COVID-19 tests for most people as case numbers rise

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WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is changing its COVID-19 testing process amid rising case numbers and a backlog of tests.

Health officials say most people going to provincial testing sites will now be given rapid antigen tests to take home instead of a lab test on site.

Dr. Jazz Atwal, the deputy chief public health officer, says the change will help cut a backlog of some 6,800 PCR tests awaiting completion.

Atwal says the Omicron variant is spreading widely, and for every case detected there are probably eight to 10 cases that are undetected.

Health officials reported 1,790 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths.

The Winnipeg Police Service says 170 personnel have booked off on COVID-19 related leave, and some officers are being redeployed to ensure general patrol work can continue.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 5, 2022

The Canadian Press

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