FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED A COVID-19 TEST?
First, not everyone needs a COVID-19 test, but many people do.
Your best option to find out would be to complete the Shared Services Screening Tool.
Another way to find out if you need a test would be to discuss with your health care provider or to call Health Links:
204-788-8200 or toll-free 1-888-315-9257.
HOW IS THE TEST COMPLETED?
In order to detect the COVID-19 virus, we need to obtain a sample from cells in the lining of the nasal passages. As such, we use a nasal swab (like a very fine cotton swab) and gently insert it deep into the nose and turn it in order to get collect potentially infected cells. This swab is then sent to a laboratory where special testing called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCconfirms the presence or absence of the virus.
If the virus particles are found, the test is considered positive and the patient is confirmed to have an infection with COVID-19.
HOW LONG DOES A SWAB TAKE?
Not very long. The actual swabbing process takes about 10-15 seconds.
CAN CHILDREN OR ADULTS WITH INTELLECTUAL OR DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES BE TESTED?
However, because the test involves a nasal swab that can briefly feel unpleasant, some children and/or adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities may have difficulty with the process. If a patient is unable to cooperate sufficiently, it may not be possible to obtain an adequate sample.
As such, we request that there is a care giver seated near the child to assist the swab taker obtain the sample.
Due to the nature of our testing site (we reach into a vehicle to obtain a swab from a seated passenger/driver), and the fact that multiple unsuccessful attempts can be very difficult for children and/or adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, we will stop after a maximum of two attempts.
HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN BE SWABBED IN THE SAME VEHICLE?
Generally, we can only test a maximum of 4 people per vehicle. This is because we reach into the vehicle to obtain the sample from a seated driver and/or passenger. This necessitates that the patient is seated directly near a functional window that can roll down completely.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME?
Please bring your Manitoba Health card. You will be asked to produce it so that we can confirm your information.
Also, you should bring a cell phone so that you can text us to notify us of your arrival.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET RESULTS?
Laboratory testing staff are working tirelessly to get results out as quickly as possible. However, it is impossible to guarantee the time it will take for results to become available because there are so many factors that can influence the processing time of these tests. As such, it may take several days for COVID-19 test results to be reported.
Clients who are still waiting for their test results should continue to self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
You can access results at the Shared Health COVID results site:
I NEED A PCR TEST FOR TRAVEL PURPOSES. CAN I GET THAT DONE AT THE RED RIVER COLLEGE COVID-19 SWABBING SITE?
No and yes.
The province has indicated that asymptomatic travellers who require a negative PCR test in order to travel outside of Canada should seek such testing from a private facility.
However, if asymptomatic testing is required for individuals traveling within Canada (for example, individuals traveling to First Nations communities that require a negative test upon entry), then these tests can be done at our facility.