Appointments at COVID-19 testing sites, testing in doctor's offices coming soon

Manitoba health officials will introduce a new appointment system for people who need a COVID-19 test. The province is also working with doctors to allow people to get tested in medical clinics after hours.

Changes are part of the province's efforts to reduce wait times at testing sites

People line up outside the COVID-19 testing site at 604 St. Mary's Rd. on Oct. 7. (Cameron MacLean/CBC)

Manitobans who need a COVID-19 test will soon be able to book an appointment at one of the province's testing sites, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced Tuesday.

"Work is under development to reduce wait times at these testing locations by introducing an appointment-based scheduling system," said Roussin.

"Manitobans who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms will be able to call or go online to schedule an appointment to get tested," said Roussin. 

Details on how the new system will work will be released in the next few weeks, he said.

Public health officials are also in discussion with Doctors Manitoba, which represents more than 3,000 physicians in the province, to begin offering after-hours tests at medical clinics. This will bring COVID-19 testing "closer to home," Roussin said.

The announcements come as some people report waiting hours at testing sites in Winnipeg. With long lines outside testing locations, some people have expressed concerns about how winter weather could deter others from getting tested. 

The new appointment system and the ability to get tested at a doctor's office should address those issues, Roussin said.

The province is also opening new testing sites in the coming weeks. One site, at 1066 Nairn Avenue, opened Tuesday and will operate from  7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

Another site in Winnipeg at 125 King Edward St. will open in late October, Roussin said.

Brandon, Man., will get a new site at the Keystone Centre, due to open Oct. 17.


Cameron MacLean is a journalist for CBC Manitoba living in Winnipeg, where he was born and raised. He has more than a decade of experience reporting in the city and across Manitoba, covering a wide range of topics, including courts, politics, housing, arts, health and breaking news. Email story tips to