Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is asking anyone with Covid-19 symptoms to assume they have the virus and isolate. This news came out Monday with the news that PCR test eligibility is being restricted in the province due to the system being flooded.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw says PCR testing will now be focused on people in high-risk settings or at high risk of severe outcomes. Anyone not eligible is being asked to cancel their appointment. A detailed list of those eligible is available on the Alberta government website here.
Hinshaw is also encouraging employers to not need a PCR test for sick leave when an employee has symptoms of Covid-19.
Fully vaccinated people are required to isolate for five days from the start of symptoms or until they resolve, whichever is longer if symptoms are not related to a pre-existing condition. After the symptoms have gone away people are being asked to wear a mask at all times when around others outside of their home.
Anyone who is not fully vaccinated is required to isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms or until they resolve, whichever is longer. Even if the test shows negative people are still being asked to stay home and away from others until symptoms resolve.
“Assume that we’re seeing at least ten times or more the number of cases that we’re currently finding through testing,” says Hinshaw.
635 Albertans are in hospital due to COVID-19 with 72 in the ICU. Six new COVID-19 deaths have also been reported.