CAPTION ADDITION ADDS PRODUCT USE: FILE - In this April 17, 2020, file photo, antibody test cartridges of the ichroma COVID-19 Ab testing kit used in diagnosing the coronavirus move along on a production line of the Boditech Med Inc. in Chuncheon, South Korea. Experts say one of the reasons South Korea has managed to avoid lockdowns or business bans was because of its aggressive testing and contact tracing program that draws from its experience of fighting a different coronavirus. The product shown is fluorescence Immunoassay that can be used in general antibody tests but not in rapid tests.(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

Alberta increasing access to rapid testing program

Businesses that want to access free rapid tests will no longer be required to have a health-care provider oversee their screening program.

Organizations will be able to participate in the rapid testing program completely independently and without finding and paying for a health-care provider, the provincial government announced Monday.

“The removal of the requirement to have a health-care professional oversee the rapid screening program will remove a cost barrier to small and medium enterprises participating in this program,” said Ken Kobly, Alberta Chambers of Commerce president and CEO.

“This will permit a wider and faster adoption of the rapid test program. It will also free up health-care professionals to more effectively use their skills in fighting this pandemic.”

The province will work with Alberta Chambers of Commerce to develop a program specifically for chamber members. Details will be available soon.

More than 1.7 million rapid tests have now been deployed across Alberta.

“As cases are on the rise, we know that many organizations can benefit from rapid screening programs, in order to catch cases early and break chains of transmission,” said Minister of Health Tyler Shandro.

“We have heard from Alberta’s business community and other organizations that hiring a health-care provider was a significant and costly barrier for many organizations. This change will allow more organizations to access rapid testing kits without compromising health and safety.”

The decision to remove the requirement for health-care provider oversight, which is supported by Health Canada, aligns with rapid testing programs implemented by Ontario and some international jurisdictions, according to the provincial government.

There are requirements on the use of the rapid tests for asymptomatic screening that all organizations are obligated to follow. Organizations are responsible for ensuring anyone administering the test is trained.

Rapid tests are easy to administer and training can be accomplished through online resources. Additional materials will be made available on the Government of Alberta rapid testing webpage to help organizations train staff to oversee screening.

Launched in March, Alberta’s rapid testing program allows any organization to apply for free COVID-19 rapid testing kits to be used in a screening program.



Send your news tips

Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Mayor Rick Bonnett. (Screenshot)
WATCH: Ponoka council calls on gov’t to support rural small businesses

Ponoka council is calling on the provincial government to increase funding to… Continue reading

Pumpjacks draw oil out of the ground near Olds, Alta., Thursday, July 16, 2020. A new report suggests the economic impact of the pandemic led to a massive increase in federal aid to Canada's oil patch. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta economy ‘still reeling,’ says ATB Financial

Alberta’s economy is still feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and… Continue reading

Ella Stoner, five, is ready to cut off her hair and donate it to A Child’s Voice Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Stoner Photography)
Central Alberta girl to donate her ‘princess hair’ to A Child’s Voice Foundation

A five-year-old girl from Rimbey has never had a haircut before. Now,… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

The Minnesota Wild celebrate their overtime victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Eriksson Ek’s OT goal lifts Wild past Vegas 1-0

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Joel Eriksson Ek’s goal at 3:20 of overtime… Continue reading

Toronto Blue Jays' Lourdes Gurriel Jr., celebrates after hitting a double against the Philadelphia Phillies during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Girardi, Segura have confrontation as Phils lose to Jays

Blue Jays 10 Phillies 8 DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — The injury-depleted Philadelphia… Continue reading

New York Islanders' Kyle Palmieri (21) returns to the bench after scoring during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Palmieri’s OT winner lifts Isles by Penguins 4-3 in Game 1

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The New York Islanders brought Kyle Palmieri home at… Continue reading

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing to examine an update from Federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19, Tuesday, May 11, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)
Fauci says pandemic exposed ‘undeniable effects of racism’

ATLANTA (AP) — The immunologist who leads the COVID-19 response in the… Continue reading

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, participates in a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Feds face growing calls for answers after general overseeing vaccine effort sidelined

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government is facing growing calls for answers… Continue reading

Conservative MP Ron Liepert rises during Question Period on Parliament Hill, Friday, March 10, 2017 in Ottawa. Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails from people wanting to talk about his party's climate plan have slowed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Alberta MP pitches Conservative carbon price with a 24-pack of Pilsner

OTTAWA — Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails… Continue reading

A sign marks Stairs Place in the Hydrostone district in the North end of Halifax on Thursday, May 13, 2021. The street was named for William Grant Stairs, a Canadian explorer from Halifax who helped lead some of the most controversial expeditions through the African continent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Where the streets have explorers’ names, some Halifax residents call for change

HALIFAX — When builders created Halifax’s distinctive Hydrostone neighbourhood more than a… Continue reading

Riley Oldford, 16, suffers from cerebral palsy. He was the first youth in the Northwest Territories to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Here he receives the needle from nurse practitioner Janie Neudorf in Yellowknife on Thursday May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Braden
People with disabilities even more alone during pandemic: cerebral palsy spokeswoman

YELLOWKNIFE — Riley Oldford is usually out playing sledge hockey or hanging… Continue reading

Most Read