Alberta Mirror

Friday, September 29, 2023

Alberta to move COVID-19 testing method as Omicron variant spread spikes


Key takeaways: 

  • Most individuals should take the quick test, not PCR, Dr Hinshaw states.
  • No one in Canada will be capable to sustain PCR testing for every community case with favourable symptoms, according to Dr Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.

Alberta’s officer health statement on PCR test: 

Alberta’s guidance for COVID-19 testing has altered as the region braces for an inflow of cases prompted by the Omicron variant.

Dr Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, repeated the speed of the variant’s transmission during her COVID-19 update on Thursday. Alberta is offering spread on par with other jurisdictions — doubling times of just two or three days, Hinshaw stated.

“This is much swifter than we encountered with the Delta variant over the last six months,” she stated Thursday.

To reduce the load on regional lab testing, Hinshaw stated quick tests should be utilised for most individuals with symptoms and urged Albertans to use quick tests over a PCR test. Those in increased priority settings such as health care should still get a PCR test. 

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Alberta’s health officers says no one will be able to maintain the PCR test

Those who test positive on a quick test should take it as validation and quarantine, she stated. A negative test should be pursued by another quick test 24 to 48 hours but should be coupled with isolation. 

Following a second negative test, Albertans are to quarantine till they no longer have symptoms.

Hinshaw stated the differences will impact the management of COVID-19 spread and the region will depend more on wastewater surveillance and other monitoring systems. She stated it’s not a problem unique to Alberta.

“No one in Canada will be able to maintain PCR testing for every community case with mild symptoms.” Source –

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