COVID-19 Updates: Protecting Albertans from the Omicron variant.
Rapid testing program changes - December 23, 2021
- To ensure PCR testing is available to those who need it most, only people at high risk of severe outcomes or work in high-risk settings need to book a follow up PCR test if they get a positive result on a rapid antigen test.
- If an employee tests positive through workplace rapid testing, send them home with one rapid test so the second test can be performed safely at home.
- Employers are still not permitted to test symptomatic employees.
Information on this page will be updated in January. In the meantime, review the updated COVID-19 rapid testing guidelines.
Employers and service providers can apply to receive free rapid test kits for use in their organization’s COVID-19 screening program.
Rapid testing screening programs can identify pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic cases – people who don’t know they’re infected with COVID-19 – so they can be isolated early to stop the spread. People with symptoms or known exposure must use the online assessment tool to get tested through Alberta Health Services.
Rapid test kits were successfully piloted in long-term care, outbreaks, hospitals, homeless shelters and industry.
The rapid testing program is open to any public, private or not-for-profit employer or service provider with an approved COVID-19 screening program.
The application process will prioritize businesses or organizations involved with:
- vulnerable populations
- high-risk settings and workplaces
- essential services
- sectors that support reopening of economic and social activities
The Rapid Screening Program cannot support testing for the purpose of the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP). This means that you cannot supply documentation to your employees about their test results for admission/entry to a site/venue or an event that participates in the REP. Unvaccinated individuals must pay to obtain a negative COVID test through a private vendor or pharmacy to gain admission.
How it works
Rapid test kits are provided free of cost to successful applicants. However, organizations are responsible for all costs related to their screening programs and assume all medical and legal responsibilities associated with them.
Successful applicants must also ensure proper protocols are in place for COVID-19 screening, testing and reporting.
How to apply
Resources are available if you need help developing your screening program or finding a health care provider to oversee it.
Step 1: Develop a screening program plan
The screening program plan must align with all public health requirements and guidance on asymptomatic testing. The plan should outline:
- protocols for administering the tests:
- quality control testing
- quality assurance practices
- test result interpretation
- processes for reporting results and managing individuals who test positive
- result sharing (including privacy requirements)
- appropriate follow-up on positive test results
- use of personal protective equipment
- disposal of biohazardous material
Step 2: Complete the application form
- Review the program overview.
- Download and complete the request for rapid tests form (PDF, 358 KB).
- The latest form includes both the application form and a letter of agreement that requires you to follow all public health guidelines and provide weekly reports to the Ministry of Health.
Step 3: Submit application
Submit your completed application form and screening program plan to [email protected].
After you apply
If approved, you will be contacted approximately one week (pending volume) after your submission is received with information on the distribution of your rapid testing kits.
Program participants are required to report the use and results of rapid testing every Wednesday.
The following documents provide an overview of the Rapid Testing Program and the requirements organizations must follow for a screening program:
- Rapid Testing Program overview
- Guidance on asymptomatic testing
- Rapid test infographic (PDF, 222 KB)
- Considerations for screening programs
- Asymptomatic screening program common questions
For additional support, the following third-party discretionary materials may help with program development and staff training for a screening program:
Panbio test training materials
- Step-by-step rapid antigen screening video
- Rapid testing training course (PDF, 1.8 MB)
- Quality control testing using the Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test (PDF, 1.3 MB)
- Rapid testing education checklist for employees (PDF, 1.1 MB)
- Rapid testing reference sheet (PDF, 1.2 MB)
- Rapid testing quiz (PDF, 1.1 MB)
- Rapid testing quiz with answers (PDF, 720 KB)
BD Veritor training materials
- BD Veritor Plus System for rapid COVID-19 testing
- Multilingual manual (PDF, 2.6 MB)
- Training manual (PDF, 3.0 MB)
- Training presentation (PDF, 3.5 MB)
- Quick reference guide (PDF, 653 KB)
- Nasal swab quick reference (PDF, 234 KB)
- Batch testing guide (PDF, 3.3 MB)
BTNX training materials
Roche Canada training materials
- Roche Canada video tutorial
- (Note: Alberta’s rapid testing program does not require rapid tests to be supervised by a health care professional)
If your organization requires additional supports, the following list includes businesses that have submitted information about their rapid testing services:
- Third-party rapid testing vendors and businesses (PDF, 792 KB)
The list is a compilation of information submitted by businesses and does not represent any form of review, approval or promotion.
If your business or organization would like to be added to this list, please complete the vendor submission form. Once submitted, your company information will be added to the list within 7 business days.
Connect with the Rapid Testing Program:
Email: [email protected]
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