A nurse prepares to administer rapid COVID-19 tests at a construction site n Toronto on Thursday, February 18, 2021. A Canadian Federation of Independent Business survey says 63 per cent of small businesses say they would adopt rapid testing of employees if it would help their businesses to remain open. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

A nurse prepares to administer rapid COVID-19 tests at a construction site n Toronto on Thursday, February 18, 2021. A Canadian Federation of Independent Business survey says 63 per cent of small businesses say they would adopt rapid testing of employees if it would help their businesses to remain open. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Alberta expands COVID-19 rapid testing program

The Alberta government will be rolling out more COVID-19 rapid tests in the coming weeks.

Officials said Tuesday that at least two million rapid tests will be available for businesses in Alberta.

Any employer or service provider in Alberta can apply for the free rapid tests. To be eligible to receive the kits, employers must show protocols for administering the test, the use of personal protective equipment, processes for reporting results and managing individuals who screen positive.

“Rapid testing kits have been used successfully in long-term care, shelters, and large worksites to keep Albertans safe,” said Minister of Health Tyler Shandro.

“This expansion of our rapid testing program supports our overall COVID-19 strategy, to shield those most at risk, to protect lives and livelihoods, and adapt our actions to new evidence as it comes. I am pleased that we are able to give businesses and service providers another tool for screening cases early and breaking the chain of transmission.”

Officials say that while anyone can apply, vulnerable populations and individuals in high-risk settings and workplaces will be prioritized. That includes first responders, essential services and critical industry, and sectors that support the reopening of economic and social activities.

The government also indicated that a health-care provider is required to oversee the screening program, but any worker who is trained can administer the tests.

Alberta has received approximately 2.6 million rapid tests since October 2020, with an additional one million expected before the end of April.

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