On Tuesday, February 9, Health Minister Shandro announced that the province will be expanding rapid testing.
Those directly affected by the announcement will be asymptomatic staff at long-term care and designated supportive living facilities.
Minister Shandro says, "This expansion will eventually cover 36,000 staff in continuing care facilities across the province.
This should help in protecting the province's most vulnerable population. Shandro said, "This isn’t another policy announcement, this is deeply personal. It’s about protecting the most vulnerable Albertans, our parents, and grandparents, including my own."
The tests can provide preliminary results in less than an hour. Those who test positive will have to immediately isolate and follow up with a PCR test for confirmation.
Also announced, the province will be providing 7,000 rapid tests as a pilot at Suncor Energy's base plant in Fort McMurray and the First Nation and Metis community of Fort McKay facilities in the province. Marc Mageau with Suncor says, "Suncor sees rapid screening as another layer of protection against COVID-19 for essential workers. These pilots are taking place across the country as part of the CDL rapid screening consortium and aim to provide early detection of infectiousness to stop the spread of COVID-19 and reopen the economy.”