Changes to Alberta’s testing program

  • Free PCR testing is available only for those who have clinical risk factors for severe outcomes and those who live and work in high-risk settings. Starting July 18, some eligible people will need a referral from a health care provider. Some testing locations will change.
  • Free rapid antigen test kits are available for at-home use.
  • Wastewater monitoring is used to provide a broad picture of infection levels in a community.
  • Isolation is recommended for Albertans with most common COVID-19 symptoms. Employers should not ask for proof of a PCR or rapid test in order to receive time off of work.

Need help?

  • 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

COVID-19 can cause a wide range of symptoms that can be mild to severe. You should isolate at home if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • fever or chills
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • nausea or diarrhea
  • loss or altered sense of taste/smell

Headache, fatigue and joint or muscle pain are also common symptoms of COVID-19, but you do not need to stay home or get tested unless you also have one of the other COVID-19 symptoms listed above.

These symptoms apply to all COVID-19 strains and variants.

At-home rapid testing

PCR Testing

Eligible through self-referral

Eligible with referral from a health care provider

  • Starting July 18, the following people require a referral from a health care provider to get a PCR test if it is needed to inform their care:

Your health care provider will determine the best testing option, including rapid testing, in-clinic PCR testing, or a referral to an AHS site.

If you are eligible for outpatient treatment and do not have a health care provider, or are unable to book an appointment, call AHS Health Link at 1-844-343-0971.

Unsure? Take the AHS online assessment

Other testing programs

  • Testing for health care workers and workers in high risk settings

    Health care workers and workers in specific high risk settings listed here are eligible for PCR testing:

    • Health care workers*
    • Group home, disability support and shelter workers;
    • Correctional facility staff in provincial & federal facilities
    • Individuals who provide services in a clinical care setting including hospitals, clinics, pharmacies

    *You are considered a healthcare worker if you work in the following settings:

    • AHS or Covenant facility in which patient care is provided
    • Home Care
    • Primary Care
    • Diagnostic Imaging or Laboratory Clinics
    • Medical Specialty Clinics
    • Continuing Care and Licensed Supportive Living Sites
    • Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians in patient care settings
    • Other settings where face-to-face patient care is provided (including emergency medial responders)

    Take the healthcare/worker assessment to book a test

    Complete the Fit for Work Assessment for Healthcare Workers

  • Wastewater monitoring

    • Wastewater monitoring is one of many tools in understanding the overall burden of infection in a community, and provides a broad picture of infection in a community.
    • The Alberta Wastewater Surveillance Program is a collaboration between the University of Calgary, University of Alberta, Alberta Precision Laboratories, and Alberta Health.
    • The SARS-CoV-2 virus has been demonstrated to be present in the feces of a significant proportion of infected individuals, and individuals infected with COVID-19 may pass the virus in their feces before they become asymptomatic. As such, wastewater can provide an early indication of infection trends in a community.
    • The wastewater surveillance data for the province can be viewed on the Alberta COVID-19 data dashboard.

Caring for someone with COVID-19

If you have mild symptoms, follow advice on how to care for yourself and others at home. Do not visit an emergency department for a PCR test. Most people with mild illness do not need a test or a conversation with their doctor.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911 immediately if you experience difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, feelings of confusion, or loss of consciousness.

If you're unsure when to seek medical attention, use the Alberta Medical Association assessment tool or call Health Link 811 for advice.

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

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