Most Albertans will no longer be able to get an asymptomatic COVID-19 test.
While these voluntary tests had previously been offered at a number of pharmacies, the Province of Alberta announced in a release on Thursday that these tests would be reserved for the most vulnerable or at-risk populations.
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School teachers and staff, residents and staff in congregate areas, healthcare workers, Albertans experiencing homelessness, and travellers who require testing prior to departure are all still encouraged to get an asymptomatic test at a participating pharmacy, though “voluntary asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended for other Albertans who have no symptoms and no suspected exposure to COVID-19,” the release states.
Anyone who has already booked an asymptomatic test will still be able to have it completed, even after the province’s announcement.
The shift is in an effort to reduce test wait times, speed up results, and support Albertans during flu season — especially given that the flu and coronavirus have many similar symptoms.
Albertans who experience any coronavirus symptoms, or who have been in close contact with a confirmed case, will be able to get a symptomatic test as usual through Alberta Health Services.