Provincial Press Release May 12, 2021 @ 10:01 am published 10:28 am
A one-of-a-kind partnership with Alberta Chambers of Commerce will make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to access rapid testing kits.
Alberta is the first province in Western Canada to offer rapid antigen testing kits to all chambers of commerce provincewide to help identify pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic cases and isolate them early.
This program allows Alberta businesses to work directly with local chamber staff. Interested businesses and not-for-profit organizations can apply to receive rapid testing kits directly from their local chamber of commerce.
“This partnership gives businesses another leg up to move our economy forward. By making it easier to access rapid testing kits when and where they need them, we are providing businesses with a vital tool to protect their workers and the Albertans they serve.” Jason Kenney, Premier
“We are working hard to ensure we limit the spread of COVID-19 in every corner of our province, and we are not stopping until this pandemic is behind us. Rapid screening enables us to catch cases early and stop them in their tracks, thereby protecting both Albertans and our health system.” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
“This partnership between the Government of Alberta and participating community chambers of commerce will expedite and streamline the process for Alberta businesses, in particular small and medium enterprises. This will lead to more tests being administered and will hopefully contribute to stopping the spike.” Ken Kobly, president and CEO, Alberta Chambers of Commerce
After local chambers sign an agreement, Alberta Health will provide rapid tests and a pre-approved screening plan.
Local chambers will work with all businesses and not-for-profit organizations in their communities. A chamber membership is not required.
Any participating businesses or organizations are responsible for ensuring that anyone administering the test is adequately trained. To assist with this, Alberta has made training resources available online.
In addition, businesses will need to report back to their local chamber weekly about the number of tests performed and how many had a positive result and how many were confirmed by PCR testing. This information will be shared with Alberta Health.
Rapid antigen screening kits are not designed for definitive case testing. Operators and employees who receive a positive result from their rapid test will not be able to return to work and must isolate. Anyone who receives a positive result is encouraged to schedule a follow-up PCR test with the Alberta Health Service’s online self-assessment tool.
Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.
Rapid tests are provided for free to all successful applicants.
A chamber of commerce membership is not required for businesses and not-for-profit organizations to participate in this program.
Organizations are responsible for all costs related to establishing and operating their screening programs and assume all medical and legal responsibilities associated with them.
Rapid testing kits have already been deployed to help screen and test cases, including:
973,000 tests to long-term care and designated supportive living facilities
Over 125 Alberta businesses and 1.4 million tests to several companies in critical industries, such as oil and gas, transportation, meat-packing and utilities
440,000 tests to support a rapid screening pilot in schools
Over 50 COVID-19 assessment centres
70 hospital-based labs
Eight homeless shelters
Operators and employees who do not have symptoms, and have not been identified as close contacts, can get tested at work. Results are available at the testing site in under an hour.