As Older Adults in Winnipeg continue to navigate the challenges associated with COVID-19, there continues to be concerns around equitable access to COVID testing sites and the challenges they pose for Older Adults who may not own a vehicle, who may not have supports to bring them to these services, who may not have the ability to book appointments online or the financial means to pay for transportation which will get them there without posing a health risk to the public. Safety of those who are feeling un well and who are concerned about getting tested should always be top of mind for service providers, transportation industry professionals and other health departments related to COVID.
The WRHA is recommending that any Older Adults who are experiencing difficulties getting to COVID testing sites throughout Winnipeg are to call Health Links and ask to be supported with transportation to get to a nearby testing site. The WRHA has contracted with transportation companies who are trained in the protocols associated with transporting individuals to and from COVID testing sites and we should continue to encourage the use of transportation resources that have specific COVID training. Please encourage Older Adults to phone Health Links using this number: Health Links – Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257. https://misericordia.mb.ca/programs/phcc/health-links-info-sante/
Here is an updated list of testing sites in Winnipeg: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/testing.html#list
We as service providers need to support Older Adults and breakdown the stigma and barriers associated with individuals who may be nervous to use the transportation services provided through Health Links and it’s crucial that we spread the word so Older Adults who don’t have access to transportation resources can have access to testing sites.
There are several important things to remember when it comes to the transportation industry and COVID, so here are some links to support with accessing important information about protocols and best practise guidelines in the transportation industry in Winnipeg.