Novel Coronavirus COVID-19
 

Testing is only recommended for people who are at high risk for serious outcomes as they need to know if they have COVID-19 to receive early treatment options such as antivirals. Please contact your health care provider if you are at high risk for severe disease to determine if testing (PCR or rapid antigen test) is recommended for you.

If testing is not recommended for you, you should follow public health guidance on staying home and away from others until you feel well enough to return to regular activities at Province of Manitoba | Next Steps with Symptoms or Exposure (gov.mb.ca). You may use a rapid antigen test if you wish, which continue to be available at many locations across the province.

 

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 their health care provider or call Health Links- Info SantÚ at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257.

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 Immunization Update Request Form.

 


 

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.

Rapid antigen test kits are currently available free of charge at many locations across the province, including pharmacies, doctor's offices, retail locations, community libraries and City of Winnipeg facilities Province of Manitoba|Testing. 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. Adults should perform the nasal swab for young children and supervise older youth as they perform a nasal swab. Individuals who are symptomatic, are recommended to be tested and are unable to take a self-test should visit a health care provider. 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 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. In most cases, Health Canada has not reviewed evidence demonstrating the continued safety and effectiveness of a test beyond its expiry date (either original expiry or extended expiry). The results of an expired test may not be accurate and so it is recommended that people use tests that are not expired.

 

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. You may wish to test at least once more and wait one to two days between tests.

Although your rapid antigen tests are negative, you should continue to stay home and away from others until your symptoms have improved, you feel well enough to resume normal activities, and you are free of fever for around 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication (e.g. acetaminophen or ibuprofen).

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

Rapid antigen tests are only recommended for people who are at high risk for serious outcomes as they need to know if they have COVID-19 to receive early treatment options such as antivirals. However, anyone with symptoms may wish to use rapid antigen test kits, which currently continue to be available at no cost at many locations across the province. Please note that hours and supply are subject to change. Manitobans who are at high risk of severe disease and who may be eligible for treatment are encouraged to pick up rapid antigen tests to have on hand, before they develop symptoms.

 

 

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.