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COVID-19 tests change to focus on higher risk residents

Lakeland residents who are at high risk of COVID-19 exposure will now be tested first. The provincial government is changing its approach to prioritize groups at the highest risk of local exposure and at-risk populations.

The government of Alberta will arrange to test for symptomatic people who are hospitalized with respiratory illness, residents of continuing care and similar facilities, people who returned from traveling abroad between March 8th and March 12th, and healthcare workers with respiratory symptoms.

“Changing our testing protocols will allow us to focus Alberta’s testing capacity on those most at risk,” says Chief Medical Officer Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw. “This is consistent with the approach happening across Canada. It will enable us to strategically use our testing resources.”

Anyone with symptoms who does not fit any of the categories is asked to stay home and self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days from the start of their symptoms, or until symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.

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Travelers who returned to Canada after March 12th with mild symptoms will not be tested. Instead, they’re asked to self-isolate for 10 days. The change will be effective going forward, so anyone that was told by Healthlink that they will be tested will still be tested.

Written by Tre Lopushinsky,

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