Novel Coronavirus COVID-19

COVID-19 Testing Questions and Answers

On this page:

Why do I need to get tested?

Understanding the patterns and trends of COVID-19 transmission is an important part of Manitoba’s reopening strategy. Information about how COVID-19 is spreading will give public health officials the data they need to gradually ease public health restrictions and make changes to other elements of the province’s COVID-19 response.

As Manitoba continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, your testing results are critical to help guide public health actions including rapidly finding cases, case isolation, and follow-up. Timely action will limit the effects of COVID-19 and help manage the province’s overall response.

When should I get tested?

Testing should be done as soon as possible once symptoms appear. You should still be tested even if your symptoms are very mild or if they start to improve after 24 hours. It is important to get tested as soon as symptoms appear, as tracing and isolating contacts in a timely manner is important to limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild, you should isolate and use the online screening tool or Call Health Links - Info Santé for further information on isolation and to see if you should be tested. Isolation means staying home and keeping away from others, including household members if possible. You should continue isolating for 10 days from the day symptoms started and until you no longer have a fever and the other symptoms are gone. If you get tested for COVID-19 and your test results are negative, you will be required to continue home isolation until you are symptom-free for 24 hours (but if you have been exposed to COVID-19 through close contact with a case or travel, you will need to continue isolating for the full 14 days from last exposure).

If your symptoms worsen (e.g., shortness of breath, breathing difficulties), or if you have questions or concerns, please call Health Links - Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257.

Who can get tested?

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 can now be tested. Individuals experiencing symptoms do not require a referral from Health Links - Info Santé or their family physician to be tested for COVID-19 at a community testing site.

Individuals are encouraged to use the self-assessment tool to be certain they meet the necessary testing criteria before going to a community testing site. If you have symptoms that are not typical of COVID-19, but are worried, please speak with your health care provider or call Health Links - Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257.

Manitoba has developed several options for testing, including introducing voluntary asymptomatic testing for clients in a number of health-care settings and for truck drivers travelling outside of Manitoba to further monitor the presence of COVID-19 in the province. Manitobans who present for non-COVID-19 related care may be offered the testing as part of sentinel surveillance.

What are the different kinds of test sites?

  • At testing centres, you will stand in a physically-distanced line to receive your test for walk-up services. If you have an appointment, you will enter the site at your appointment time.
  • At drive-thru sites, you will remain in your vehicle at all times, and you will be tested while in your vehicle.
  • At drive-up sites, you must make an appointment. You will remain in your vehicle until your appointment time, and then you will walk into a indoor staging area to get your test.
  • At mobile sites, you will stand in a physically-distanced line to receive your test; please note that mobile site locations may change depending on testing needs, though the locations on this page are always kept current.