Access to rapid testing for COVID-19 expanding again across Alberta
File photo. This is the handheld, rapid-testing device for COVID-19, which can confirm test results for the virus in less than one hour. Photo credit to Spartan Bioscience Inc.
CALGARY, AB – This is good news for small and medium-sized businesses across the province.
Businesses and service providers that want these free rapid tests from the Alberta government will no longer be required to have a health-care provider oversee their screening program.
That means organizations will be able to participate in the rapid testing program completely independently.
“As cases are on the rise, we know that many organizations can benefit from rapid screening programs, in order to catch cases early and break chains of transmission. We have heard from Alberta’s business community and other organizations that hiring a health-care provider was a significant and costly barrier for many organizations. This change will allow more organizations to access rapid testing kits without compromising health and safety,” Health Minister Tyler Shandro
The province will now be working with Chambers of Commerce across Alberta to develop a program specifically for their members.
Provincial Chamber President, Ken Kolby says this great news and will permit a wider and faster adoption of the rapid test program.
This moves also aims to free up health-care providers at a time when they’re most needed.
There are stringent requirements on the use of the rapid tests for asymptomatic screening that all organizations in Alberta have to follow.
Alberta’s rapid testing program maintains strict eligibility requirements, safety protocols and oversight to ensure safe and effective program delivery.
To be eligible for rapid testing kits, employers and service providers must have a screening program plan that outlines:
- protocols for administering the tests
- the use of personal protective equipment
- processes for reporting results and managing individuals who screen positive.
(With files from Alberta government news release)