Albertans who have been exposed to the coronavirus are being asked to join a clinical trial into the effects of a potential COVID-19 treatment. 

Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-viral drug that's been used for decades to treat malaria and some auto-immune diseases, and U of C researchers are looking into the effectiveness of the drug to treat COVID-19.

The researchers, led by a team from the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine, will recruit 1,600 Albertans to determine whether a five-day treatment of HCQ can prevent hospitalization for people at the highest risk of developing severe complications from coronavirus.

Albertans who have been exposed to COVID-19 will form one part of the study, while those who have tested positive for the virus are being asked to join a separate trial. 

Some early lab studies suggest that Hydroxychloroquine could help those that fall into the 'most vulnerable'  bracket from being hospitalized if they do in fact contract the virus.

The recruitment of Albertans for the study is expected to start this week with the completion of the trial anticipated for July / August.