Changes to Alberta’s testing program

Alberta will begin safely bringing COVID-19 measures in line with those used for other respiratory illnesses.

  • Starting July 29, asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended, including for close contacts of COVID-19 cases.
  • Starting August 16, testing will be available for Albertans with symptoms when it is needed to help direct patient care decisions
    • This testing will be available through assessment centres until August 31, and after that will be in primary and acute care settings as needed.

For more information, see Changes to Alberta’s testing program.
 

Need help?

  • Financial support is available if you're unable to work because you are sick, required to isolate, or are caring for someone in isolation.
  • Translated resources are available in Af-Soomaali, Arabic, 中文, हिंदी, 한국어, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Español, Français, Tagalog, Tiếng Việt and Urdu. Or call 811 for help.

Monitor your symptoms

Albertans should monitor their symptoms every day to help protect others and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Core symptoms

If you have any of these core symptoms, you need to isolate for at least 10 days from the start of your symptoms or until they are gone, whichever is longer, or until you test negative.

Core and other symptoms apply to all COVID-19 strains, including variants.

Adults over 18

  • cough
  • fever
  • shortness of breath
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • loss of taste or smell

Children under 18

  • cough
  • fever
  • shortness of breath
  • loss of sense of taste or smell

Other symptoms

Adults over 18

Any symptom: Stay home and limit contact with others until symptoms are gone. Testing is recommended.

  • Stuffy nose
  • Painful swallowing
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Feeling unwell or fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or unexplained loss of appetite
  • Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye

Children under 18

1 symptom: Stay home for 24 hours, get tested if symptoms don't improve.
2+ symptoms: Get tested and stay home until well or test is negative.

  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Painful swallowing
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Feeling unwell or fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or unexplained loss of appetite
  • Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye

Monitor your health and call Health Link 811 or your health care provider if you have questions or concerns. Call 911 immediately if experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19, including difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, feelings of confusion or loss of consciousness.

Get tested

Testing is currently available to:

  • any person exhibiting any symptom of COVID-19
  • all workers and/or residents at specific outbreak sites

Book a test

If you have symptoms you must stay home and you should book your test online with the AHS assessment tool or call Health Link 811.

Take the assessment / Book a test

Changes to Alberta’s testing program

Alberta will begin adapting programs and policies in response to COVID-19, bringing the health response in line with influenza and other respiratory viruses. Changes to testing will occur over 2 phases:

Phase 1 – Begins July 29

Testing will continue to be available provincewide for individuals who are symptomatic. However, asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended, including testing for close contacts of COVID-19 cases. Instead, asymptomatic individuals should monitor for symptoms and isolate if they appear.

Phase 2 – Begins August 16

After August 16, testing will no longer be recommended for those with mild symptoms for whom a test result will not change their treatment. In general, Albertans who feel unwell or who have COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and limit contact with others until they are back to normal. Testing will be available for Albertans with symptoms when it is needed to help direct patient care decisions.

  • This testing will be available through assessment centres until August 31, and after that will be in primary care settings including physicians’ offices. For those with severe illness requiring urgent or emergency care, testing will be available in acute care and hospital settings.
  • COVID-19 testing will also be offered as needed in high-risk outbreaks such as in continuing care.

A wastewater baseline testing program will also be launched to provide area trend information and monitor variants of concern. More details will be released in the coming weeks.

 

Get your results online

Access COVID-19 test results through MyHealth Records - a secure online service that helps keep track of your health information.

Get your results

Assess your severe illness risk

Some people have a higher risk of experiencing severe health outcomes, including hospitalization, intensive care or death.

Assess your risk

Alberta's testing program

Alberta has one of the highest testing rates in the world. We offer free-of-charge testing to:

  • trace the spread of the virus so we can identify steps to limit further spread
  • determine how well our public health measures are working

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