COVID-19 Testing Clinics in Alberta
Make the most of your health and wellness.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced that Alberta is pressing pause on Asymptomatic COVID19 testing conducted by AHS and community pharmacies until further notice.
This strategic move will help prioritize testing and focus testing where it has the greatest clinical value. AHS will continue testing Albertans:
- Individuals with symptoms
- Individuals with no symptoms but is a close contact
- Individuals linked to an outbreak.
These are the top priorities and further action was required in order to reduce testing wait times, get results to Albertans as quickly as possible and limit the spread.
As of Oct. 20, AHS and pharmacies will not book new appointments for Albertans seeking asymptomatic testing. All existing appointments will be honoured until Nov. 4.
Alberta Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Program
Alberta Pharmacists have a broad scope of practice that enables them to be at the forefront of patient care. As a result of the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association ongoing work with Alberta Health, a program has been launched to allow pharmacists to conduct COVID-19 testing for Asymptomatic Albertans.
What is a COVID-19 Testing Clinic?
Before London Drugs considered participation in this Asymptomatic testing program, we evaluated the safety of our staff first and foremost. The emphasis needs to be made that this is for Asymptomatic individuals only. Prior to any testing, individuals interested in Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing will be screened by the pharmacists to assess eligibility. Eligibility for the test hinges on the individual having no known symptoms AND no known exposure to COVID-19. It is important to note that anyone exhibiting any symptoms, or anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19, will be immediately referred to Health Link at 811, told to self-isolate and not come to the pharmacy.
How will you benefit from COVID-19 Screening?
Pharmacists are highly trained and strategically located across the province to help secure the restart of the economy and ensure the safety of our family, friends, patients and communities. Our staff and customers we encounter every day in our stores are good examples of individuals who may be interested in this program. With Alberta’s provincial relaunch underway and rising number of cases throughout the province, London Drugs’ participating in this program will be critical to the ongoing health & wellness of Albertans. The short-term purpose of this program is to conduct enhanced COVID-19 surveillance to understand the prevalence in Alberta’s population. Long-Term the program may be used to create critical surge capacity for outbreak scenarios where local testing capacity is fully consumed by symptomatic testing.
What to know before your Clinic visit
The testing consists of a throat swab performed by a trained pharmacist and evaluated by the provincial lab. In the event of a positive result, the patient will be linked to care from Alberta Health Services where contact tracing will be performed.
Updated Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in Pharmacies
Alberta Health has announced an update to COVID-19 testing recommendations for Albertans.
Processes and operations at the pharmacies conducting asymptomatic COVID-19 testing will not change as a result of this announcement.
This is in response to trying to reduce testing wait times, speed up access to results and support Albertans during influenza season and the winter months.
This means that, effective September 18, 2020 COVID-19 testing in Alberta is recommended for the following.
Albertans are to get tested at an AHS testing facility if:
- They have symptoms of COVID-19
- They are close contacts of a confirmed case, whether symptomatic or not.
- They are linked to a known outbreak, whether symptomatic or not.
- They are obtaining an Asymptomatic COVID-19 Test for travel related purposes & require supporting documentation.
Albertans are eligible for Asymptomatic testing at a pharmacy if they fall into the following categories:
- School teachers and/or school staff
- Healthcare workers
- Staff and/or residents at congregate living facilities, including long-term care
- Experiencing homelessness
Voluntary asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended for Albertans who are not in the target groups; however, Albertans will be asked to operate on the honour system. Albertans will not be denied testing if they are not within the target groups and still request to have an asymptomatic COVID-19 test conducted.
Any Albertan with a test already booked will receive it. The Government of Alberta will continue to monitor the spread of the virus and add new high-priority groups if needed.