Novel Coronavirus COVID-19
 


SMS Short Codes


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Use of Short Codes

The Manitoba government will now begin using a Short Message Service (SMS) short code to contact Manitobans with important information or alerts directly by text message. Standard message and data rates may apply to short code use.  

If you receive a text from 204431, it is from the Manitoba government. 
  
A short code is a number used by businesses, service providers or public sector agencies to send mass texts with information about products, services or alerts.  
 
All short codes are permission-based and cannot be sent to someone who has not opted-in or subscribed to the program, in compliance with Canada’s anti-spam legislation and the CSC Code of Conduct.

Short code messages are an optional service. Opting in or subscribing happens when a person responds to a short code text with a designated keyword.  

You may opt out of the short code at any time by replying STOP or ARRET. When you opt out of a short code, you will no longer receive SMS text messages.

By texting HELP or AIDE, you can obtain further information about the short code, including an e-mail address for inquiries.

By texting INFO you will receive a link to a website which includes further information on the short code messaging service.

Learn more about short codes at: https://www.txt.ca/en/ 


Frequently Asked Questions


The Manitoba government will now use short code 204431 to contact Manitobans by text message. This allows information to be shared quickly and efficiently.  


This short code will be used to keep Manitobans informed of provincial alerts or other important information.


Yes. To continue to receive messages from this short code you need to opt-in or subscribe to the message. This can be done by responding to an initial short code message with a designated opt-in keyword. 


Yes, you may opt-out by responding to an initial short code message with a designated opt-out keyword.




Use of Short Codes for COVID-19 Messages


Personal Health Information Protection

Your health information continues to be protected in accordance with Manitoba’s Personal Health Information Act (PHIA).

Your personal health information will not be requested by short code. Your personal health information will only be requested by regional health authorities and/or designated contact tracing agents during a live call. Public health nurses and agents will not share personal health information or the names of others.


Short Message Service (SMS) texts are often the fastest way to reach people, and can play a role in quickly reducing transmission of COVID-19. The Manitoba government will now use a SMS short code to share information with people about test results, self-isolation and medical care.

If you have gone for COVID-19 testing, you may get an SMS short code message notifying you of the availability of your test results, along with a link to the website where your results can be viewed.

For positive cases and close contacts, SMS short code messages may be sent to advise people to begin to self-isolate isolate immediately and a notice that they will be contacted by public health. It will also include information on when to seek medical care. SMS short codes many also be used to follow-up with cases and close contacts, which is known as active monitoring.

No personal information, such as personal health information number, will ever requested. However, people may be asked to confirm their name or a household member’s name.

Depending on the type of notification you’re being sent, you will receive a different number of messages. Messages may require your response.

Due to technical requirements, messages may have to be broken up to fit a specified character limit. These informative texts will be sent within seconds of each other.

  • Notifications about lab results will be sent in three separate texts, the same day.
  • Notifications for close contacts will be sent in seven different texts the same day.
  • Active monitoring messages may be sent on one or more days of someone’s isolation period, and can be a maximum of 14 messages depending on the responses.