Free PCR Testing Available to Canadians in Grand Forks – Winnipeg | The Canadian News

The Canada-United States border officially opens to fully vaccinated travelers on November 8.

A cheaper option for Canadian travelers looking to cross the border is available thanks to the Grand Forks public health department.

“We’ve had a lot of inquiries about people who want to get tested, want to come in for a short, quick trip, so we’re just looking for opportunities to make that an option for Canadians,” says public health nurse Tiffany Boespflug. , Grand Forks Department of Public Health.

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A negative molecular COVID-19 test is required for all travelers five years of age or older, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, entering Canada. The cost can range up to $ 200, but Grand Forks hopes to help by offering the free trial.

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The proof is something owner Cassandra Jamieson of Brandon’s McPhail Travel agency says can be a barrier for travelers.

“There are so many families right now that want to travel, but then we get into the cost of testing … $ 1,000, $ 2,000 later, and they just leave,” says Jamieson.

Jamieson says that since the U.S. border is so close for many Manitoba residents, the travel mistake has definitely become prominent.

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“The phones and emails don’t stop, people definitely have the mistake of traveling and want to go.”

She says that with the free option available to Canadians, she hopes more people will take a trip.

“It’s crazy how many people just want to go.”

Grand Forks Public Health says their free PCR tests take 48-72 hours for turnaround time.

“We don’t want to have barriers for people to get tested, regardless of their motive. We really want to identify those positive cases and isolate them, ”says Boespflug.

Canadians can pre-register for the test in advance and do not need to bring any specific type of identification.

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“The option to have a free trial is important, especially since the cases are still in process,” Boespflug said.

Rapid antigen tests are not currently accepted. The only tests Canadians can use to return to the country are:

  • PCR: polymerase chain reaction
  • Nucleic acid test (NAT) or nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT)
  • Reverse Transcription Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP)

All three use a nasopharyngeal (PN) swab, nasal swab, or saliva sample.

Jamieson says that Mexico and Cuba seem to be popular getaway destinations right now. However, he anticipates that Hawaii’s reserves will soon see a surge.

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