Rapid testing program update: March 16, 2022

Starting April 1, Alberta’s rapid testing program for employers and service providers will no longer be providing tests for non-prioritized workplace settings (See eligibility below).

  • Applications from non-prioritized settings will not be accepted after March 31.
  • The program will continue to support health care and vulnerable settings beyond March 31.

Overview

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.

Rapid test kits were successfully piloted in long-term care, outbreaks, hospitals, homeless shelters and industry.

Eligibility

Due to increasing demand and a global shortage of rapid testing kits, Alberta has prioritized the distribution of rapid test kits to health care settings and those that support vulnerable or otherwise unvaccinated populations. Workplaces and settings that do not reflect these criteria are no longer eligible for the program.

Prioritized settings consist of:

  • Alberta Health Services
  • Long term care, designated supportive living and hospice settings
  • Community services that work with vulnerable populations
  • Primary care
  • Child care

These changes to the workplace Rapid Testing Screening Program do not affect the public distribution of rapid test kits through pharmacies for at-home use.

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

Need help? 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.

Weekly reporting

Program participants are required to report the use and results of rapid testing every Wednesday.

Resources

The following documents provide an overview of the Rapid Testing Program and the requirements organizations must follow for a screening program:

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

BD Veritor training materials

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:

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.

Contact

Connect with the Rapid Testing Program:
Email: [email protected]

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