NDP Call for Increased COVID Contact Tracing

October 19, 2020

Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg MB - Manitoba’s Official Opposition is calling for the hiring of more contact tracers to help fight COVID-19, in response to new information obtained from the four regional health authorities.

“The Pallister government has once again chosen profit over patients,” NDP Health Critic Uzoma Asagwara said. “It’s clear that we need more contact tracers, but the first step is to tell us exactly how many they have working in all the health authorities. Furthermore, the health minister wasted precious months to build contact tracing capacity, despite receiving 109 million dollars from the federal government. Manitobans deserve to know how many people are working in the fight against COVID.”

Freedom of Information reports show that during the month of August, the four Health Authorities (not including Winnipeg) employed only 140.4 public health workers to do COVID19 contact tracing.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has requested an extension to provide this data.

“Manitoba has experienced record numbers of COVID and Brian Pallister has chosen not to boost contact tracing to ensure people are informed about their health and wellbeing. They need to invest in more workers to carry out contact tracing and collect pertinent demographic data, so that all Manitobans are aware of outbreaks and exposures and feel confident in our healthcare system,” added Official Opposition leader Wab Kinew.