The province will be making at least two million rapid tests available for businesses and service sectors in Alberta. On March 11, it was announced that rapid tests would be provided for schools in a pilot program as well as tests would be made available at long-term care facilities, hospitals, homeless shelters, and industries across the province.
It was announced Tuesday, March 23 that any employer or service provider in Alberta can apply for the free rapid tests. The province says that rapid testing has proven effective in the fight against COVID-19 with Health Minister Shandro saying, “Rapid testing kits have been used successfully in long-term care, shelters, and large worksites to keep Albertans safe. This expansion of our rapid testing program supports our overall COVID-19 strategy, to shield those most at risk, to protect lives and livelihoods, and adapt our actions to new evidence as it comes. I am pleased that we are able to give businesses and service providers another tool for screening cases early and breaking the chain of transmission.”
In order to be eligible for rapid testing kits, employers and service providers must submit a screening plan which entails:
- Protocols for administering the tests
- The use of personal protective equipment
- Processes for reporting results and managing those who screen positive
The tests can be administered by a trained employee or employer and self-administration of tests will be allowed under certain conditions. However, a health-care provider will be required to monitor the organization’s testing program.
While any business is allowed to apply, priority will be given to businesses and organizations connected to vulnerable populations, high-risk settings, first responders, essential services, and those involved with the reopening of economic and social activities.
For more information on applying for the Rapid Testing Program click here.