In select businesses and organizations across the province, COVID-19 testing will be done in-house.

Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, Manitoba’s Wildfire Service, Winkler Meats, Alamos Gold Inc. in Lynn Lake, and Air Canada will soon have the capability to do Crapid COVID-19 testing on their own staff.

“We are partnering with Manitoba businesses and critical services to make the best use of our rapid test supply with the goal of identifying asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the workplace and other critical settings that would otherwise go undetected,” Health Minister Heather Stefanson says in a statement.

The antigen-based test does not go as far back into the nasal cavity as a typical test, allowing people without medical training to perform the test. The locations will be required to do two-hour training from Red River College to take part in the pilot project. 

Three months of the rapid-testing supplies, the same ones used for rapid testing of the staff at some personal care home and educators, will be given to the locations.

“The opportunity for our employees to participate in this important, science-based, rapid screening initiative adds another tool in our multi-layered approach to employee safety,”  Dr. Jim Chung, chief medical officer at Air Canada says.

The province says these locations were chosen because of factors including "geographical location, potential supply chain, community or population impacts, transportation or living arrangements, or who have a workforce that has been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19."

If successful, more businesses and industries such as construction or transportation could be included in the rollout.