A"one of its kind" site is in operation for Metis citizens to give them COVID test results within 24 hours of taking the test.
Partnering with Intrinsic Analytics, the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) will be providing testing for its citizens helping to coordinate appointments. Intrinsic Analytics says they are Manitoba’s first and only bioinformation services provider.
“Your Métis Government has your back and we are proud to offer this first-of-its-kind support that will help our Citizens return to the workforce and assist our families through these difficult times," MMF President David Chartrand says in a statement. "By offering this alternative, our Métis Citizens can now get their test results done faster and return to work and running errands to support their family quicker.”
Those looking to book an appointment must contact MMF's Health & Wellness department by calling 1-833-390-1041.
“Understandably, all Manitobans are getting frustrated with the long wait times and delays in getting test results,” MMF Minister of Health and Wellness Frances Chartrand says, noting that the new option will give those in Winnipeg and surrounding areas testing in a "timely manner."
MMF says their site will produce COVD-19 test results within 24 hours of the test being taken. Currently, the provincial wait time to receive test results is 22 hours.
"Although the MMF are welcome to provide this redundant service, it is concerning as to how they intend to connect their test results with the public system to ensure appropriate contact tracing," a provincial spokesperson says in a statement. "It is important to follow up with positive cases so they are able to get the appropriate care, and information on how to reduce the spread of the virus. This kind of follow-up is a key component of COVID-19 testing."
The MMF has previously said they are working with the Minister Northern Affairs, Dan Vandal, and Minister Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services regarding obtaining vaccines for Metis citizens. MMF leadership will be meeting with Health and Seniors Care Minister Heather Stefanson Tuesday.
"From the start of this pandemic, our government has engaged regularly with indigenous leadership as part of Manitoba’s ongoing response to COVID-19. As this work to protect Manitobans continues, so will our engagement with indigenous groups, including the MMF."
The province says an invitation from Indigenous and Northern Relations has been sent to MMF to discuss vaccination sites. They also say they have invited MMF to join the Indigenous Vaccination Communications Working Group.
"It is important to note that decisions regarding vaccine prioritization are not political decisions and are not made by the Premier or any Minister - they are made by public health leaders."
MMF has taken a proactive approach to the pandemic for its citizens since the pandemic by increasing their community donations, including giving the Christmas Cheer Board $50,000 in December. The nation has also created sites for those who have contrated COVID-19 to isolate.