COVID-19 update: Oct. 23
Alberta Health Services (AHS) has made further significant changes to their COVID-19 testing approach. AHS has paused all asymptomatic testing in those who have no known exposure. This is an important and necessary step that will help reduce testing wait times, get results to Albertans and limit the spread. AHS and community pharmacies are no longer booking new testing appointments for any asymptomatic Albertans who have no known exposure. Asymptomatic individuals without known exposures are not significantly driving the spread in Alberta and this testing is not an effective way to identify cases of COVID-19. AHS has now completed more than 659,000 tests on asymptomatic Albertans with no known exposure. Of these, only 0.11%, were positive. Testing is available to:
- Albertans with symptoms of COVID-19
- Albertans who are close contacts of a confirmed case, whether symptomatic or not
- Albertans who are linked to a known outbreak, whether symptomatic or note
- Albertans who need COVID-19 testing for outgoing travel (provided by private labs for a fee)
The City of Calgary has been added to the AHS Watch Areas. The leading source of exposure for active cases right now is close contacts and many of the cases are the result of the spread over Thanksgiving when families gathered together. Social gatherings, where distancing and masking are not used consistently, are a significant risk of spread.
We are all being encouraged to be extra diligent right now by:
- Staying home if sick
- Keeping distanced from those outside your household or cohort
- Wearing masks
- Regularly washing or sanitizing your hands
- Following the public health measures every day
Again, if you have any questions regarding COVID-19 click here: novel coronavirus (COVID-19) | Alberta Health Services or call HealthLink 811.
As a reminder, Influenza shots are now available. For more information on how to get your flu shot, please click here: Influenza Immunization | Alberta Health Services
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