Red Deer couple who waited more than a week gets tested for COVID-19

A Red Deer couple who waited more than a week to be tested for the COVID-19 virus has been swabbed.

Anita McDonald and her husband Billy were tested near Burnt Lake Industrial Park in central Alberta on Thursday morning.


COVID-19: Red Deer couple with symptoms has been waiting a week to get tested after travelling abroad

McDonald said the testing, which took place in Red Deer, entails the swabbing of both nostrils.

“It’s fast, there are no wait times, and it’s just a smooth process,” she said.

“They told me if it’s positive, you will hear back in the next 24 to 48 hours. And if it’s negative, they probably wouldn’t be contacting us until (a later date), because they’re just so backed up.

“So I guess no phone call is good,” the woman said, hoping the test results are negative.

McDonald and husband returned from their holiday in the Dominican Republic on March 7 and have been self-isolating since.

On March 9, the couple called Health Link 811, as Billy, 60, was experiencing symptoms, such as a scratchy throat and a heaviness in his chest.

A few days later, the wife also developed the symptoms.

The couple had been waiting to take the COVID-19 test since March 9.

On Wednesday, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, said Health Link has been busy and she understands that’s frustrating for many Albertans.

She advised people to self-isolate whether or not they can get through to 811.

“Even without talking to Health Link, they can do the right thing. Even without a test, they can continue to self-isolate,” Hinshaw said.

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