You can get your free rapid COVID-19 test kits starting today in Alberta

Dec 17 2021, 4:29 pm

Albertans can now grab their free rapid COVID-19 test kits at hundreds of locations across the province, as Omicron cases in Alberta grow to 119.

Premier Jason Kenney announced the kits on Wednesday morning.

Starting today, Albertans can pick up test kits at more than 800 participating sites, including 700 select pharmacies in Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer, and at 140 Alberta Health Services locations in other communities across the province.

In order to receive their free rapid test kit, a person has to have a valid Alberta healthcare card. Individuals can also obtain one or more additional kits for another person(s) who are unable to obtain one for themselves, provided they have the person’s healthcare number.

Every kit contains five tests, along with instructions on when and how to administer the tests.

A press release from the Alberta government notes that, for maximum benefit, an individual should take two tests each week, 72 hours apart. Tests are of particular benefit to those who have had recent COVID-19 exposure.

Kits will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and Albertans can pick up one test kit every two weeks. Kenney added that these tests are intended for at-home personal use for regular screening of asymptomatic people.

Albertans who screen positive on a rapid test or who have COVID-19 symptoms should book a PCR test through Alberta Health Services to confirm and must isolate for 10 days or until they receive a negative PCR test result.

The free rapid test kits do not include appropriate documentation. As such, tests cannot be used for the province’s Restrictions Exemption Program, which requires privately paid test results or domestic or international travel.

The kits were announced alongside new gathering rules for the holidays and ramped up access to booster COVID-19 doses.

Those interested in learning more or picking up a kit can visit the Government of Alberta’s website to find further details or locate a pick-up site near them.

Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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