Alberta / covid 19

Nearly 1M rapid tests distributed across Alberta

News Release

Nearly 1M rapid tests distributed across Alberta

More than 924,000 rapid tests are being used to help protect workers, students and vulnerable Albertans from COVID-19.

Rapid tests will support screening programs to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and prevent outbreaks at a wide range of businesses and sectors:

325,000 tests to Suncor, Syncrude and CNRL

267,000 to long-term care, designated supportive living and hospice facilities

100,000 for a new pilot program offering rapid tests in schools

100,000 to rural and remote hospitals, assessment centres and other health care sites

76,000 to WestJet

56,000 to various other industries and groups across the province

Thousands of additional rapid tests will be deployed to more businesses and service providers in the coming weeks.

“We continue to aggressively expand our use of rapid testing. These tests are a vital tool in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and breaking the chains of transmission. We will continue expanding the rollout and hope to offer many, many more tests to other businesses and sectors in the coming days.”
Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“Revera is delighted to partner with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services to screen asymptomatic staff, physicians and students for COVID-19 at all LTC and DSL sites not in outbreak. Effective this week, every eligible Revera site will offer these voluntary tests to staff. This helps us detect COVID-19 sooner, limit its spread, and keep communities safe.”
Dr. Rhonda Collins, chief medical officer, Revera

“Businesses across Alberta need a cost-effective system to allow them to open, stay open and keep people working safely. We’re pleased to have implemented rapid antigen screening in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. We firmly believe it provides another layer of protection against COVID-19 and assists us in keeping our workforce, families and communities healthy and safe.”
Sylvie Tran, vice-president of Exploration and Production, Suncor Energy

“On behalf of our 5,600 active employees, thank you to the Government of Alberta, Premier Kenney and Minister Shandro. These rapid COVID-19 tests are a critical layer of additional safety for WestJetters. Rapid screening is an important component to maintaining essential travel and business activities ahead of vaccines.”
Ed Sims, president and CEO, WestJet

“We value our dedicated employees, who are working tirelessly to ensure millions of people have food to eat, and welcome the opportunity to work with Alberta Health to add this additional proactive measure to our screening program. Rapid testing at Cargill’s facility and other participating locations will help identify and isolate asymptomatic COVID cases — increasing safety for Alberta’s essential workers and communities while we await broader access to vaccines.”
Jon Nash, president, Cargill Protein – North America

Long-term care and designated supportive living

Since February, rapid tests have been shipped to all 366 AHS-contracted long-term care and designated supportive living sites. Rapid screening supports but does not replace other health measures in place at each facility.
All other licensed supportive living accommodations for seniors and other Albertans are being offered rapid tests to protect anyone living and working within these facilities. Health officials are reviewing applications and expect to ship thousands of additional devices in the next few weeks.

Workplace screening

Rapid tests have been deployed to help more businesses implement employee screening programs across the province.
This includes programs that will protect thousands of workers in the oil and gas, banking, telecommunications and transportation sectors.
Rapid tests will be used in Cargill High River’s screening program over the next several months, and discussions are underway to provide tests to other interested meat-processing plants to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Hospitals, shelters and other settings

Diagnostic rapid tests have also been deployed at:

38 COVID-19 assessment centres

62 hospitals

Seven homeless shelters

Mobile testing facilities, including those offering tests to residents and staff of long-term care and designated supportive living, and industrial outbreak sites including the Olymel meat processing facility in Red Deer.

Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.

Related information

Industry-initiated testing guidelines (PDF)

COVID-19 info for Albertans


Watch the news conference

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