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Sunday, August 1, 2021
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Alberta teachers & school staff encouraged to get tested for COVID-19

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With kids heading back to school in a couple of weeks, Alberta’s top doctor is recommending all teachers and school-based staff be tested at least once for COVID-19 before classes begin.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw says asymptomatic testing should also take place regularly throughout the academic year for school staff.

She notes Alberta teachers and staff who wish to access asymptomatic testing are encouraged to book a test as soon as possible.

“This is entirely voluntary,” says Hinshaw. “However, asymptomatic testing of staff in school settings will help us with a baseline understanding for school re-entry and ultimately help even more closely monitor the virus in the coming year”.

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Hinshaw notes work is underway to expand Alberta’s testing capacity and information about additional options for testing will be shared soon.

She did stress this week however, that any Albertans who are not sick and have not been exposed to COVID-19 should consider holding off getting a test until after September 1st so the testing system can handle the number of school staff who decide to get tested for the virus before the start of the school year.

“Our testing capacity has expanded greatly, but no province in Canada can collect and process that many tests all at once. I am asking educational staff to arrange for tests proactively. Do not wait for the day before you’re set to return to school”, stressed Dr. Hinshaw Wednesday.

Alberta currently has around 90,000 teachers and staff who work in schools across the province.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of New Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

On a personal note, Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and funeral assistant since 2016.

Pat is engaged to Tarah and he has two kids and two step-children.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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