Thompson MLA Danielle Adams says she has written to provincial Health Minister Cameron Friesen about opening a second COVID-19 testing site in Thompson.
There is currently one testing site in Northern Manitoba’s largest city, open five days a week.
The Thompson/Mystery Lake health district had its third positive test for COVID-19 announced by the provincial government Oct. 5. That was the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in the Thompson area since the first week of April, when the first two positive tests occurred.
“Northern Manitobans have made many sacrifices to flatten the curve and keep each other safe,” the NDP MLA said in an Oct. 8 press release. “Our seniors, elders and children are particularly vulnerable and we need to do everything we can to protect them as we head into flu season. A single outbreak in a school would overwhelm the health system here, and we know that the Thompson emergency room or acute care unit are not prepared for an influx of patients."
Adams said area First Nations – like Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, which restricted travel to Thompson to two people per household immediately upon being informed Oct. 4 that there was a presumed COVID-19 case in the community – have acted swiftly to try to prevent the virus from entering their communities but that residents of northern communities must often come to Thompson to shop or for healthcare, putting them at risk of exposure to the virus.
“Northern First Nations were quick to respond to the new case in Thompson and area,” said Adams. “We need the same commitment from the Pallister government to ensure that if there is an outbreak, Northern Manitobans have access to rapid testing without delay. I will continue to speak up for Northern Manitoba about the need for a better COVID response from this government."