EDMONTON (660 NEWS) — Alberta Health Services (AHS) is expanding access to COVID-19 testing allowing for pharmacies in the province to throat swab asymptomatic Albertans.
Over the next few days, a number of community pharmacies with the skills and capacity will offer testing to Albertans without symptoms and no known exposure.
“This is an addition to the robust COVID-19 testing already offered province-wide by Alberta Health Services,” Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Thursday.
“Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals and pharmacies support the health care of residents in their communities every day,” he added.
The pharmacy test will be a throat swab. Specialized training will be provided. Edmonton and Calgary will be the first to start this trial
— Jeff Slack (@Jeffslack660) June 25, 2020
The pilot project will be conducted in 20 community pharmacies located primarily in Edmonton and Calgary.
Shandro explained this limited number is to see if the pharmacies will be able to handle the capacity and be able to receive the proper training.
“This will help us to ensure here in Alberta that testing materials, data and supports are working well before expanding this imitative further,” he said.
“We’ll add more pharmacies in the coming weeks, and I encourage anyone without symptoms to call their local pharmacies to see if testing will be available there.”
This expansion is being added to the current protocols in place and will not replace the testing system offered by AHS.
“The more test results we have the more we know about how our communities are affected by COVID-19 and the more effectively we can respond,” Shandro said.
If you have symptoms or were exposed to COVID-19 you are asked not to go to pharmacies and instead complete the online assessment or call 811.
Shandro encouraged every Albertan to get tested even if they don’t show symptoms.