Pharmacies across the province will be offering COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic Albertans.
Any pharmacy in the province that wants to participate in testing asymptomatic Albertans and is able to meet the safety requirements can offer testing to individuals who have no symptoms and no known exposure to COVID-19.
“Our innovative pilot clearly showed that community pharmacies can safely provide more Albertans with easy access to testing. Alberta continues to expand its testing capacity and maintain one of the highest testing rates in the world. Strong COVID-19 testing is a key part of our relaunch strategy and will help us continue to protect Albertans from this virus in the days ahead,” said the Minister of Health, Tyler Shandro.
More than 10,300 Albertans were tested for COVID-19 during the pharmacy testing pilot program that was launched in June, with roughly 677,000 total tests being completed across the province.
“With cases on the rise in Alberta, we must all do our part in the fight against COVID-19. The actions we each take today will help protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities tomorrow. Testing helps us understand more about the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta,” said the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
Each participating pharmacy will follow strict protocols and maintain the specialized skills needed to protect patient safety.
The pharmacy test is a throat swab, which will be sent to Alberta Precision Labs for analysis.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) will directly contact any Albertan who tests positive to discuss the results, begin contact tracing, and protect the public’s health.
Albertans are encouraged to reach out to a participating pharmacy for more information on how to arrange a test.
“We are pleased to see Alberta Health expand the pharmacy-based COVID-19 testing program beyond the pilot. Most of the pharmacist practitioners participating in the pilot have been screening individuals prior to entering the pharmacy and testing by appointment only. Therefore, we encourage those interested in receiving a COVID-19 test to contact their pharmacist in advance,” said the Chief Executive Officer of Alberta Pharmacists’ Association, Margaret Wing.
COVID-19 testing is available to all Albertan’s and is encouraged for anyone before or after spending time with high-risk individuals including anyone over 65 years of age, or with underlying medical conditions, before or after travelling internationally or attending an event with recent travellers, before or after participating in activities or events that may have you at a high risk of exposure, and front liner workers who have regular interactions with high-risk Albertans.
In addition to participating pharmacies, anyone who wants to get tested can continue to book an appointment online with the AHS assessment tool.
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or known exposure is encouraged to complete the COVID-19 self-assessment or call Health Link at 811.