Sunday, July 25, 2021
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Provincial COVID-19 rapid testing expands to include vulnerable Albertans

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EDMONTON, AB – More Albertans will soon have access to rapid testing for COVID-19.

The fast testing is being expanded across the province to reach Albertans in homeless shelters, long-term care facilities and remote rural communities.

Starting Friday, Dec. 18 rapid point-of-care testing will begin at long-term care and designated supportive living facilities in the Edmonton Zone using dedicated mobile testing centres.

Mobile testing centres are expected to be ready to deploy in Calgary Zone starting the week of Dec. 21. Mobile testing centres will be focused first on outbreak sites. Expansion to long-term care and designated supportive living facilities outside Edmonton and Calgary zones is expected to follow shortly after.

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Health Minister Tyler Shandro says Alberta’s COVID-19 testing program is critical to managing and preventing the spread of the virus in our communities. “Bringing rapid point-of-care testing directly to the locations where it can help protect the health of the most vulnerable Albertans is an important addition to our provincial testing system.”

More than 1,000 people have received the rapid tests at assessment centres and hospital locations to date, including 76 positive cases who were notified about their result in a matter of hours.

Quick Facts

  • Alberta has completed 2.5 million tests on more than 1.5 million people since March 2020.
  • Both rapid testing systems are being used on patients who are within the first seven days of expressing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Alberta Health Services has received more than 800,000 rapid tests from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • Systems will be deployed in 25 rural hospital sites in the coming weeks. These include the acute care hospitals in: Cardston, Pincher Creek, Brooks, Oyen, Wetaskiwin, Drayton Valley, Drumheller, Rocky Mountain House, Castor, Coronation, Wabasca, Edson, Cold Lake, St. Paul, Elk Point, Peace River, Westlock, Barrhead, Provost, Lac La Biche, Camrose, Wainwright, Hinton, Two Hills and Vegreville.
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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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