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Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson speaks to media prior to the reading of the Speech from the Throne at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg on Nov. 23.JOHN WOODS/The Canadian Press

Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson says the province is looking at making rapid COVID-19 tests widely available, perhaps for free.

Ms. Stefanson says she has asked public-health officials to look at changing the current rules, which focus mainly on selling rapid test kits to businesses and other employers.

In Nova Scotia, residents are able to get free rapid tests from pop-up locations across the province for at-home testing.

Manitoba’s rising number of COVID-19 cases has brought its intensive care units to near capacity, and Ms. Stefanson has asked the federal government to provide up to 30 nurses for the next several weeks.

Ms. Stefanson says she hopes the province can avoid a repeat of last spring, when some ICU patients were flown to other provinces to free up beds.

The Opposition New Democrats say the Progressive Conservative government has failed to boost ICU capacity, and should call in military help to increase hospital staffing levels.

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