Alberta deploying rapid COVID-19 tests for work sites, schools, care centres
The rapid tests still need to be followed up by regular tests to confirm the finding
EDMONTON — Health Minister Tyler Shandro says Alberta is deploying nearly one million rapid tests to screen for and reduce potential cases of COVID-19.
About 325,000 tests will be used for oilsands workers and another 267,000 for long-term care and designated supportive living and hospice facilities.
He says 100,000 will be sent to rural and remote hospitals and another 100,000 will go to a pilot program in schools.
The rapid tests are confirmed within 15 minutes, allowing potential cases to be isolated earlier to reduce community spread.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, reported 364 new cases of COVID-19 and says more than 317,000 doses of vaccine have been administered.
She also announced five more deaths, bringing that total in the province to 1,933.
The rapid tests still need to be followed up by regular tests to confirm the finding.
“I know some Albertans may wonder whether we will still need all this testing as vaccines become more widely available and more people are immunized,” Hinshaw said Thursday.
“The answer is absolutely yes, in the short term, as we look for evidence on how well the vaccines prevent people from getting mild or asymptomatic illness, and understand more about the potential for a vaccinated person to pass the virus on to others.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 11, 2021.
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2021