Alberta COVID-19 News

Alberta expands COVID-19 rapid testing

Rapid testing will be used to screen asymptomatic staff at all long-term care and supportive living facilities in Alberta and a new rapid testing pilot has been launched at two Suncor sites.

Following the successful rollout of rapid tests to test symptomatic residents and staff in continuing care outbreaks, Alberta will provide thousands of rapid tests to operators of all long-term care and supportive living facilities in Alberta to routinely screen their asymptomatic staff.

“Rapid tests have been successfully used in outbreaks, hospitals and homeless shelters,” said Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health.

“Expanding rapid tests to help keep the 36,000 staff safe who take care of Alberta’s seniors is the next logical step. The Suncor pilot is also an exciting development and a critical first to what I hope will be many private sector employers embracing rapid tests to restart the economy.”

Three long-term care sites will start rapid testing in their facilities as early as next week. The program will eventually be expanded, with the goal of reaching all 36,000 staff in facilities across Alberta.

In addition, Alberta has provided 7,000 rapid tests for a pilot at Suncor Energy’s base plant in Fort McMurray and the First Nation and Métis community of Fort McKay. Led by Creative Destruction Labs (CDL), these pilots will test approximately 325 workers twice per week, for 10 weeks.