Alberta rolls out COVID-19 rapid testing pilot project

Nov 26 2020, 6:52 pm

Alberta is launching a COVID-19 rapid testing pilot program in the province, where patients who come to certain testing centres with symptoms will be tested with both a new rapid test and the standard nasal swab.

The two new rapid testing technologies have been approved by health Canada, and this is the first time they’ll be available to the general population in Alberta. About 100,000 tests are available and they’ll be sent to one testing centre in Edmonton, one in Calgary, one in Slave Lake, and one in Bonnyville.

Rapid testing is not as reliable as the standard nasal swab that’s evaluated by PCR in a lab, so Albertans who get tested with the rapid kits will also get a nose swab to confirm their status.

“Fast-tracking the testing process will allow our laboratory services and health-care teams to prioritize the cases that are still infectious, and focus our efforts where we can have the greatest impact on preventing further transmission,” Mauro Chies, Alberta Precision Laboratories board chair and vice-president said in a news release.

Premier Jason Kenney also said he’s proud of the announcement.

The new rapid tests will start becoming available in early December.

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