The government of Alberta announced on June 25 that asymptomatic Albertans will be able to get tested for COVID-19 at community pharmacies.
Limited community pharmacies will begin to offer testing to Albertans who are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms and have not had any known exposure, in addition to testing already offered through Alberta Health Services (AHS).
“Alberta is a world leader in testing, and this will further expand our capacity. By gradually expanding COVID-19 testing in community pharmacies, we continue to put safety first as we reopen the economy and get Albertans back to work. This is a key part of Alberta’s relaunch strategy and will help us continue protecting Albertans from this virus,” said the Minister of Health Tyler Shandro.
More than 415,000 COVID-19 tests have been completed across the province on more than 367,000 Albertans.
“Our testing data has shown that the vast majority of Albertans who have gone for testing without symptoms or known exposure to COVID have tested negative. This is encouraging. Whether you have symptoms or not, please consider getting tested. You are helping us understand more about the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta,” said the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
A group of 20 pharmacies primarily in Edmonton and Calgary will begin to offer a throat swab COVID-19 test, which will then be sent to Alberta Precision Laboratories for analysis.
The number of pharmacies initially conducting COVID-19 testing has been limited to ensure the processes and flow of test materials and data is working well before expanding further.
However, additional pharmacies are planning to offer testing in the coming weeks.
“Pharmacist practitioners prescribe, vaccinate, and will now be able to administer COVID-19 tests for asymptomatic individuals. Pharmacists volunteering to offer COVID-19 testing further acknowledges the vital role they continue to play in the delivery of public health care, helping to keep our communities safe and enhancing the fight against COVID-19,” said the CEO of Alberta Pharmacists’ Association Margaret Wing.
Albertans are encouraged to talk to their local pharmacist to see if testing is available.
Each participating pharmacy will adhere to strict protocols and has the specialized skills needed to protect patient safety.
All Albertans are encouraged to be tested, even if they don’t have symptoms.
In addition to participating pharmacies, anyone who wants to get tested can book an appointment online with the AHS assessment tool.
AHS will directly contact any Albertan who tests positive to discuss the results, begin contact tracing, and protect the public’s health.