LETHBRIDGE, AB – Rapid testing kits are available for free right across Alberta, as of Friday (Dec. 17).
However, you’re going to have a hard time finding them here in Lethbridge. The local health unit, which is the only place in the city giving out the free tests, ran out of stock less than ten minutes after opening at 8:00 a.m. on Friday (Dec. 17).
A Tweet posted by @AHS_SouthZone says rapid tests are also out of stock in Medicine Hat, Pincher Creek and Coaldale, with more than 400 kits given out in each community.
There may be more supplies coming next week, but officials are uncertain about how many at this point.
Lisa Glover is the Assistant Director of Communications and Public Engagement at Alberta Health. She tells MyLethbridgeNow.com that the South Zone of Alberta Health Services initially received 4,000 kits.
“All zones received initial shipments to ensure there would be some available in 140+ geographic locations across the province today. In addition to kits that are already on location at AHS and pharmacy sites across the province, another 50,000 kits are being shipped to AHS sites today, and pharmacies will receive more early next week.”
Glover adds that if a specific location is out of kits, Albertans can visit Rapid Testing at Home to look for additional locations.
Hundreds of pharmacies in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer, and another 140 Alberta Health Services sites in other communities, are handing out the nasal swab kits, which can deliver results in under 20 minutes.
More than 500,000 kits, taken from the Alberta government’s stockpiled, are up for grabs on a first come, first served basis. You can get one box containing five tests every two weeks.
These rapid tests are intended for people who are symptom-free, and can be used by anyone 14 and older, and for children between 2 and 13-years old, if the test is done by an adult.
If the result comes back positive, or if you start to develop COVID-19 symptoms, you should book a PCR test and isolate for 10 day, or until you receive a negative PCR result.