The province has just announced new regulations regarding Alberta COVID-19 testing. In an update to the public, Dr. Deena Hinshaw stated that starting immediately, anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 in Alberta can receive testing. Prior to this, there were regulations as to who could be tested. 

On Monday, April 13, Dr. Hinshaw addressed the public regarding the latest pandemic update in the province. 

Starting off her speech, she acknowledged how people around the province celebrated the Easter long weekend while keeping their distance. 

But this wasn’t the only positive news. During her speech, Hinshaw took the time to acknowledge the number of people that have recovered thus so far. 

According to the provincial website, almost 50% of Albertans who have been tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered.

Hinshaw was quick to note that a great way to prevent the spread is through testing. "Aggressive testing is essential to controlling the spread," she noted. 

She also said that labs in Alberta have completed 2,465 tests in the last 24 hours. Bringing the total to 77,007 people tested since the response began. 

“As I’ve said before it’s extremely important to not just complete as many tests as we can, but that we are also purposeful in our testing.”

Over the past few weeks, officials have adjusted testing eligibility requirements to ensure those who are at the highest risk are able to access testing. 

This includes health care workers, first responders, and correctional facility staff. 

Now, eligibility for testing has expanded to include anyone with COVID-19 symptoms. 

“Even with all the expansions, we still have the capacity to do more testing," said Hinshaw.

“Effective immediately, we are expanding eligibility for testing to anyone in Alberta who has a fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat.”

If you happen to have any of these symptoms, Hinshaw explained that it is important to remember to stay home and to take the AHS online assessment form in order to arrange a test.

There is no need to call 811 if you complete the online form. The health official noted that this online form is the most efficient way to acquire a test. 

Should AHS receive a lot of requests for testing, a reevaluation could be done. 

“As long as we maintain our testing and lab capacity, it is my hope that we can continue to offer this broad access to testing. With this change, going forward, we will see a further increase in the number of cases confirmed every day as a result of this testing,” stated Hinshaw. 

This increase has already happened once before when the eligibility requirements were adjusted to include more people.

Hinshaw noted that the number of daily confirmed cases as a percent of the tests done every day has remained similar throughout the past several weeks. 

The provincial numbers state that the percentage of tests that have come back positive is about 2%. 

"This indicates that the rate of infection has remained relatively stable over the last while,” noted the health official.

According to the provincial website, there are currently 1,732 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta with 877 people recovered.   

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