Many Albertans have been frustrated by the fact they haven't been able to get through to Health Link at 811 for testing on COVID-19.
In response to those concerns, Alberta Health Services (AHS) has developed a simple online assessment to help people decide whether they need to be tested for the coronavirus.
The tool is available now at ahs.ca/covid and asks questions about symptoms and takes users through steps to help determine whether or not they should call Health Link at 811 for testing.
"AHS teams have come together to ensure we are protecting each other and keeping Albertans healthy and safe," says AHS President and CEO Dr. Verna Yu. "Health Link is an important tool for Albertans right now. This tool can help us reduce call volumes, keep the lines open for those with serious symptoms, and reassure those Albertans who don't need testing right now."
If you have symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and have travelled outside Canada, or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, stay home and call Health Link at 811.
If you are not seriously ill, don't go to a doctor's office, a healthcare facility or a lab without consulting with Health Link first.
Call 911, if you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention and inform them you may have COVID-19. If you aren’t sure, visit the online tool at ahs.ca/covid or go to alberta.ca/covid19 for more information.
Yesterday the province said it had doubled the number of Health Link staff and tripled call line capacity because of the overwhelming call volumes which had reached more than 6,300 calls per day
“We all want to stop the spread of COVID-19. Identifying and isolating people infected with COVID-19 is a critical way to help stop the spread,” says Tyler Shandro, Alberta’s Minister of Health. “This tool will help you decide whether you need a swab to determine if you have COVID-19, without leaving your home, which can help us further contain the spread.”