Expanding COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic Albertans



More than 50 Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw pharmacies in Real Canadian Superstore locations are already offering asymptomatic testing, and by September 1, 2020 all 234 of the company’s pharmacies in Alberta (including pharmacies at Independent Foods, Extra Foods, City Market, and No Frills) will offer asymptomatic COVID-19 testing.


This is in addition to province-wide testing offered via AHS assessment centres and about 75 other community pharmacies that already offer tests. Additional community pharmacies are encouraged to register voluntarily to offer asymptomatic testing.


To date, more than 837,649 COVID-19 tests have been completed across the province.


“Since the beginning of this pandemic, Alberta has been a leader in testing. We have consistently had the most open testing approach in Canada, and I am pleased to partner with Shoppers Drug Mart to further strengthen our capacity.” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“Testing is a powerful tool that helps us limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect people from infection. Expanded testing capacity will support additional testing opportunities for all Albertans, including school teachers and staff. This will provide a baseline for school re-entry and enhance access throughout the school year.” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health

“Expanding asymptomatic testing to more than 230 of our pharmacies across the province will allow more access to these tests and continued peace of mind, particularly as school resumes and businesses continue to open. Our pharmacies are a convenient destination for Albertan’s healthcare needs, and our stores are proud of our ability to further support our communities during this pandemic.” Ashesh Desai, Executive Vice President, Pharmacy, Shoppers Drug Mart

To support school re-entry, Albertans without symptoms are asked to delay testing until after the 2020-21 school year starts on Sept.1.


All Albertans are also reminded that continued adherence to public health measures – including physicial distancing, masking and hand hygiene – remain critical to the reduction of spread of COVID-19 in our province.


Asymptomatic testing

Asymptomatic Albertans are still encouraged to complete the AHS self-assessment tool to book a test, or contact a participating community pharmacy.


Each pharmacy adheres to strict protocols and has the specialized skills needed to protect patient safety. The pharmacy test is a throat swab, which is sent to Alberta Precision Labs for analysis.


Testing at pharmacies is particularly encouraged for all teachers and school staff.


Symptomatic testing

Any Albertan with symptoms of COVID-19 must book testing through AHS, via www.ahs.ca/covid.


Testing appointments for children with pre-existing medical conditions that have symptoms similar to COVID-19, such as allergies, must also be booked through AHS.


Quick facts

- Alberta has performed 837,649 tests on 677,754 Albertans.

- Strong testing data helps government and public health officials understand how our communities are affected by COVID-19 to make public health decisions.

- Only those who have no symptoms and no known exposure to COVID-19 can be tested at participating pharmacies.

- Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or known exposure must complete the COVID-19 self-assessment or call Health Link 811.

- AHS will directly contact any Albertan who tests positive to discuss the results, begin contact tracing, and protect the public’s health.


Provincial News Release August 18, 2020 3:56 pm