What is the public testing strategy?

Any Albertan, with or without symptoms, can now be tested for COVID-19.

According to the Alberta government, the province has "one of the highest testing rates in the world." It's a system that has been called "arguably the most successful COVID-19 testing system in the country," with the highest per capita testing rates in Canada, the Globe and Mail reported in April. 

The testing approach has changed several times during the pandemic, but currently any Albertan, with or without symptoms of COVID-19, can be tested for the virus. Those without symptoms can even be tested in a select number of pharmacies

The provincial government is encouraging Albertans to take advantage of COVID-19 testing that's available for all to "trace the spread of the virus so we can identify steps to limit further spread, determine how well our public health measures are working, get a point-in-time assessment of the prevalence of COVID-19 in Alberta (and) inform decisions to move to the next stage of Alberta's relaunch strategy."

Earlier in May, the province rolled out additional asymptomatic testing in Calgary, where cases have been significantly higher than in other parts of Alberta

“Surveillance in the general community is a very good idea, especially now because if there is a signal that is available, we can jump on that very quickly to prevent this from spiraling out of control and infecting lots of people," Dr. Isaac Bogoch, infectious diseases physician, told Global News. 

To determine whether you should get tested or if you would like to be voluntarily tested, start with the COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool from Alberta Health Services.

On June 23, the provincial government also announced $10 million in funding for targeted serology testing, which can "detect the presence of antibodies in a person’s blood" and will help Alberta get a better sense of how many people have had COVID-19. 

Published By:
Emily Rendell-Watson

Emily Rendell-Watson

Wednesday, May 20, 2020



For the latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, see edmonton.ca/covid19, alberta.ca/covid19, canada.ca/covid19, and the World Health Organization.