Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro said Thursday that the province is distributing close to a million rapid tests across the province. (Photo by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)

Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro said Thursday that the province is distributing close to a million rapid tests across the province. (Photo by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)

Province expands rapid COVID-19 testing

Alberta reports 364 additional COVID-19 cases, Red Deer down to 135 active cases

Alberta is working to get more rapid COVID-19 test kits into communities and workplaces across the province.

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced Thursday the government will be deploying close to one million rapid tests to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Shandro said 325,000 of those tests will go to oil and gas workers, as well as 100,000 to a new school pilot program and 56,000 for bankers, telecommunication workers and transportation.

Shandro added discussions are underway to provide rapid tests to meat-processing plants in the province.

“This adds to the protections to prevent more lives lost. A year into the pandemic we have many tools, including rapid testing, to use in our fight against COVID-19,” said Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

“Rapid testing is very helpful when used for frequent testing in a particular population over time. This allows it to function as a red-light test. It can be used to ensure people who test positive get a red light stop signal and don’t enter a particular workplace or community.”

Shandro added that rapid tests were used at a mobile testing site at the Olymel plant in Red Deer, which had a massive COVID-19 outbreak last month.

Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange also announced a new pilot project for rapid testing at two Calgary area schools, in order to better understand asymptomatic spread in schools.

The pilot will start next week at two schools that have experienced outbreaks.

“We are hoping to learn if this type of testing would be an effective tool to manage outbreaks,” she said.

Read more:

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer reflects on one year mark of COVID-19 pandemic

Thousands of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine appointments booked in Alberta

Hinshaw said the province will be expanding COVID-19 vaccine appointments Friday.

Albertans born in 1957, 1958, 1959 and 1960 will all be able to book vaccine appointments online or by calling 811. First Nations, Métis or Inuit people born in 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975 can all book by calling 811.

Red Deer is down from Wednesday’s 161 active cases to 135. The downward trend comes after the city reached a high of 565 active cases late last month.

Alberta reported 364 additional cases of the virus and the province sits at 4,488 active cases. Alberta’s test positivity rate was about four per cent over the past 24 hours.

There are 259 people in hospital, including 38 in intensive care across the province. There were five new deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,933 in the province.

When looking at the province’s geospatial mapping for COVID-19 cases on the municipality setting, regions are defined by metropolitan areas, cities, urban service areas, rural areas and towns with approximately 10,000 or more people; smaller regions are incorporated into the corresponding rural area.

With that setting, Red Deer County has 21 active cases of the virus, Lacombe County has 39 active and Clearwater County sits at 22 active.

Lacombe has 21 active and Sylvan Lake has 14 active cases, while Olds sits at 13 active. Mountain View County sits at 23 active, Kneehill County has three active and Drumheller has 56 active.

Camrose County has no active cases and the County of Stettler has one.

Camrose has two active cases and Wetaskiwin has nine active.

In the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has 37 active cases. Ponoka, including east Ponoka County, has 28 active.

Rimbey, including west Ponoka County and partial Lacombe County, has 19 active cases.



Send your news tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Thursday that the province has seen its first case of the B.1.617 variant. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears record number of active COVID-19 cases

Alberta reports 1,857 new cases of COVID-19, 1,326 new variants

File Photo
Nominations for Sylvan Lake municipal election now open

Those looking to run for mayor or council can fill out and submit nomination forms now

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta passes bill to give all workers paid leave to get COVID-19 vaccine shot

Labour Minister Jason Copping says Bill 71 will reduce barriers for Alberta workers to get vaccinated

Alberta completed 18,412 COVID-19 tests, as reported on Wednesday, for a test positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Highest daily count of 2021 so far: Alberta reports 1,699 COVID-19 cases

Variants now make up 59 per cent of Alberta’s active cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Alberta bill would protect health workers, care homes from some COVID-19 lawsuits

The bill proposes exempting a range of workers, including doctors, pharmacists and care-home operators, from being sued over COVID-19 unless it was for gross negligence

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange was in Red Deer on Friday to provide an update on the province's COVID-19 response in schools.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Alberta government aiming to boost financial literacy among students

Government providing grants to organizations who will help design financial literacy programming

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

sign
Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

Most Read