Province announces change in COVID-19 testing

Travellers who returned to Alberta after March 12th and have mild symptoms will no longer be tested for COVID-19

  • Mar. 23, 2020 9:30 a.m.

A new approach to testing for COVID-19 that will prioritize groups at highest risk of local exposure and at-risk populations is being implemented in Alberta.

Travellers who returned to Alberta after March 12th and have mild symptoms will no longer be tested for COVID-19. Instead, the same advice applied to all Albertans will apply to them – to self-isolate at home and away from others. This change is effective going forward, so anyone who has already been told by Health Link that they will be tested will still get tested.

“Changing our testing protocols will allow us to focus Alberta’s testing capacity on those most at risk. This is consistent with the approach happening across Canada. It will enable us to strategically use our testing resources. Our new approach reflects the fact that the most important thing anyone can do if they have mild symptoms isn’t to get tested – it’s to stay home and self-isolate,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health.

Testing will be prioritized for the following individuals, if they are symptomatic:

– People who are hospitalized with respiratory illness.

– Residents of continuing care and other similar facilities.

– People who returned from travelling abroad between March 8th and March 12th (before the self-isolation protocols were in place.

Health-care workers with respiratory symptoms (this testing will begin later this week).

Anyone with symptoms who does not fit any of these categories should stay home and self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days from the start of their symptoms, or until symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.

The online self-assessment tool has been updated to reflect the change in testing for returning travellers.

Alberta Health Services is building extra capacity to be able to provide advice to returning travellers with symptoms, ensuring they are following proper medical directions including staying home and away from others, and monitoring their symptoms.

These resources are expected to be in place later this week.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rimbey textile artists creating hand-made masks

Group has also been helped out by a local business

Red Deer County has three new confirmed COVID-19 cases

Government says Alberta up to 1,181 total cases

107 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, 5 additional deaths

More than 1,000 cases in Alberta total

96 new cases of COVID-19 announced in Alberta

Thirteen people have now died in Alberta as a result of COVID-19

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

Stettler Emergency Services personnel will be doing an ‘appreciation parade’

Event is to show appreciation to both front line and essential workers in Stettler

Salute to health care workers set for Monday

Fire, RCMP and EMS to toot sirens, flash lights at 7 p.m. April 6

‘The Charter still applies’: Canadians urged to monitor civil liberties during pandemic

Civil rights advocates say citizens need to be vigilant about how authorities are using new powers

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Trudeau announces more financial help for country’s most vulnerable

$40 million will go to Women and Gender Equality Canada

Feds pulled between bailing out oil and gas and moving to cleaner energy

Number of national environment organizations demanding no cash be spent to help oil companies

The inexact science involved in predicting the likely path of COVID-19

Staying home could be the difference between 6,000 deaths by April 30 or 1,600 deaths

Most Read