Manitoba

Driver of shuttle to Winnipeg COVID-19 testing sites tests positive for virus

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority confirmed a Blueline driver tested positive for COVID-19 and says the the company works with the WRHA, including driving clients to COVID-19 testing sites and to adult day programs.

Blueline has contract with Winnipeg health region to drive people to testing sites, adult day programs

A COVID-19 testing site at Thunderbird House in Winnipeg. Blueline provides transportation services to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, driving people to testing sites and to adult day programs, according to a WRHA spokesperson. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

A driver for a company that provides transportation services for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

On Saturday, provincial public health officials warned that anyone who travelled in a Blueline Taxi — described as a four-door Toyota Prius — on Oct. 3 to 9, between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day, should self-monitor for symptoms.

A spokesperson from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority later confirmed a Blueline driver tested positive for COVID-19 and says the the company works with the WRHA, "including driving clients to COVID-19 testing sites and to adult day programs."

"We are actively working with Blueline and Public Health to investigate any possible exposure to WRHA clients," a spokesperson for the authority stated in an email.

Provincial public health officials have issued a public notice related to potential exposures, but say they don't currently have data on how many people could have been exposed over the six-day period.

CBC News has been unable to reach Blueline for comment as of Sunday morning.

Since April, the WRHA has offered a free ride service to help people with "very unique needs" get to a testing site.

The service, which can be booked by phoning Health Links, is limited to "unique circumstances where an individual is truly unable to make their way for testing on their own," according to the health authority.

That includes a "lack of financial resources, lack of access to a vehicle, symptoms that would prevent them from taking public transportation and lack of access to family members or other social supports who could assist them in attending for testing."

A WRHA spokesperson said the service provides rides to about 10 people per day, although the contractor that works with the health agency has as many as 15 vehicles available.

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With files from Cameron MacLean

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