Winter strategy for COVID-19 needed


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This article was published 26/10/2020 (946 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

I have heard the concerns of many seniors and families in The Maples and across Manitoba that they are waiting too long outside for COVID-19 testing.

I recently talked to an 80-year-old woman from The Maples who waited more than two hours outside to get a test. Constituents in The Maples and across Manitoba are expecting a long-term COVID-19 strategy from the Pallister government — especially as we enter winter.

With hundreds of Manitobans being diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last few weeks, the government needs to fast-track appointment scheduling province-wide (not just in Winnipeg).

As Manitobans enter the winter months people cannot be expected to wait outside for COVID-19 testing — not every Manitoban has access to a car to make this process a bit more tolerable.

The Pallister government has completely failed Manitobans in the second wave of the pandemic. It has had more than half a year to create a COVID-19 strategy and adequately prepare our health-care facilities. Prime Minister Trudeau recently said that provinces can request support from the federal government at any time — they simply have to ask. The Pallister government failed to request this financial support sooner and use it across health-care facilities in Manitoba.

Much of the responsibility for test processing and test-site management has been off-loaded to Dynacare, a private company, which is processing thousands of tests each day.

Dynacare also offers workplace testing — but what does this mean for all Manitobans? It means that corporations with substantial money are able to have testing in-office; not something all Manitobans can afford. Every single Manitoban is struggling in this pandemic, and testing priority should be granted to those who are immunocompromised and elderly, not simply those who have enough money to pay for immediate tests. This should not become a rich versus poor pandemic. 

The government needs to increase the capacity of testing centres so technicians are not bottle-necked in their work, much like health-care professionals have experienced with administering COVID-19 tests. The Pallister government needs to make a concrete COVID-19 strategy for the next year that prioritizes health-care needs and testing for all Manitobans.

If you would like to contact us, our constituency office is located at 103-1730 Leila Ave. Call 204-417-3486 or email

Mintu Sandhu

Mintu Sandhu
The Maples constituency report

Mintu Sandhu is the NDP MLA for The Maples.

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