The Government of Alberta has announced that it will continue to provide COVID-19 PCR testing for Albertans at severe risk of illness or who work in high-risk settings.  

Beginning July 18, several eligibility and operational changes to the PCR testing program will come into effect. Tests to inform clinical treatment will need a referral from a medical professional and some testing locations will change. 

“We are taking steps to build on the foundation we have in place for dealing with other respiratory viruses. These updates to our PCR testing program help facilitate care closer to Albertans’ medical homes, allow us to direct Alberta's testing capacity toward those who are most at risk, and allow some health-care workers who have been deployed to assessment centres for the last two years to return to their regular roles to support other health services,” said Jason Copping, Minister of Health. 

Although most pandemic restrictions have lifted Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw says the virus is not gone.   

“Over the summer and into the fall, Alberta can expect to see waves of COVID-19 continue, along with increased transmission of other respiratory viruses like influenza. I would like to remind Albertans of the importance of monitoring for symptoms, staying home when sick and, for those eligible for treatment, quickly accessing rapid or PCR testing when sick,” said Hinshaw.  

The AHS online assessment tool will continue to be used to book appointments at AHS sites for those who meet the eligibility criteria, live or work in high-risk settings, or are referred by a medical professional.