Coronavirus Canada Updates: Alberta to announce COVID-19 rapid testing expansion

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Coronavirus Canada Updates: Manitoba reports 36 COVID-19 cases, 1 new death
Coronavirus Canada Updates: Manitoba reports 36 COVID-19 cases, 1 new death

Alberta is expanding its rapid testing program for COVID-19 to staff at all long-term care and supportive living facilities in the province even if they have no symptoms.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced the province has also provided 7,000 rapid test kits for a pilot project at Suncor’s base plant in Fort McMurray and Fort McKay. About 325 workers will be tested twice a week for 10 weeks.

CBC is livestreaming the news conference.

In December, Alberta expanded rapid testing to long-term care facilities, urban homeless shelters and 25 rural hospitals after trying the technology out on a limited scale at the Calgary Drop-In Centre and an isolation facility in Edmonton.

Rapid tests can deliver results in 20 minutes, unlike the standard polymerase chain-reaction (PCR) test, which can take hours or days.

The province received more than 800,000 rapid tests from the Public Health Agency of Canada last year.

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