#Alberta; Covid19CasesSurge; #TestingKits
Alberta/Canadian-Media: With active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta topping 14,000 on Nov 26, setting another new record, with 10 more deaths, Alberta Health Services (AHS) plans to roll out more than 100,000 rapid COVID-19 testing kits for the targeted sites.
Effectiveness of the Abbott IDNow and PanBio COVID-19 testing kits which have been evaluated by AHS over the last two months, the province said in a news release, will be rolled out in clinical pilot projects at an assessment centre in Calgary and one in Edmonton, at assessment centres in Slave Lake and St. Paul, and at the hospital lab in Bonnyville.
"Rapid tests are only valid for symptomatic folks who have shown symptoms in the last seven days," Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Thursday at a news conference. "So these tests are not for close contacts, nor are they for those who may have been exposed but are asymptomatic...allow us to quickly identify and notify positive cases within hours, reducing the need for patient samples to be transported to centralized public laboratories for processing."
At that same news conference, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, updated on the pandemic and commended the nearly 1.3 million Albertans who have now gotten their immunization for influenza this year and added the province has not seen a single lab-confirmed case of seasonal influenza.
"Unfortunately, COVID-19 is more contagious than influenza and for some people far more deadly," said Dr. Hinshaw.