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 are legally required to isolate. If you test negative, you should still stay home and away from others until symptoms resolve.

Core and other symptoms apply to all COVID-19 strains and 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

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 tested

Free PCR testing through AHS Assessment Centres is only available to people at risk of severe illness or work in high risk settings.

  • Children under 2 with symptoms
  • People with symptoms who may be eligible for Sotrovimab (monocolonal antibody treatment) or Paxlovid (anti-viral drug)
  • People with symptoms who are household contacts of a person who works in continuing care or acute care
  • People with symptoms who are pregnant
  • People with symptoms who live or work in isolated and remote First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities
  • Returning international travellers who become symptomatic within 14 days after their return to Canada
  • Health care workers or workers in specific high risk settings

Take the assessment to book a PCR test

  • 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

  • Rapid antigen testing program

    At-home rapid testing

    Employers and service providers

    • Employers and service providers can apply to receive free rapid test kits for use in their organization’s COVID-19 screening program. Learn more.
  • Industry-initiated testing

    Guidelines and parameters are available for companies that want to request and pay for testing for their employees, contractors or clients. Public testing is a priority.

  • 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 surviellance data for the province can be viewed on the Alberta COVID-19 data dashboard.

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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