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The provincial government announced on Tuesday that it is going to start rapid testing for COVID-19.

The premier said it is part of the province's "comprehensive plan" to protect Manitobans.

"Our government will continue to put the necessary tools and resources in place to help protect Manitobans from COVID-19," said Brian Pallister in a news release.

"Now that our initial shipment of these rapid testing units has arrived, we are taking strategic action to put these resources where they can benefit our public health response the most."

The province said it received 13 rapid test devices and there will be enough supply for more than 4,000 tests.

The devices will be located in remote areas such as Swan River, The Pas, Churchill, Thompson, Lynn Lake, Gillam, and Flin Flon.

"(This is) where delays due to transportation issues, weather or other factors could affect access to traditional testing and a timely public health response," the province said in a news release.

Two devices will also go to St. Boniface Hospital to help deal with the current outbreak. Another device will be used by officials to "evaluate how best to use these tests."

The province said the units are being shipped throughout Manitoba this week and testing will begin when healthcare providers receive training.

The rapid tests are done with a nasal swab.

"Healthcare providers will follow provincial guidance on when a rapid test is appropriate or may be valuable as an early screening tool to identify possible outbreaks as quickly as possible."

It was also noted that the rapid tests can't replace normal COVID-19 testing as it can only be used on people with symptoms.

"While it provides almost immediate results, a rapid test is less accurate. As false negatives are more common, all rapid tests still must be confirmed by traditional testing."

The premier said more information will be shared as soon as possible.