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Alberta limiting asymptomatic testing of COVID-19 to priority groups

Dr. Deena Hinshaw says voluntary asymptomatic tests will continue to be offered for priority groups.
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Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. Alberta is shifting priorities for asymptomatic testing of COVID-19 to reduce wait times. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON — Alberta is shifting priorities for asymptomatic testing of COVID-19 to reduce wait times.

The province's chief medical health officer says testing is no longer recommended for those with no symptoms and no suspected exposure to the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw says voluntary asymptomatic tests will continue to be offered for priority groups.

Those groups include school staff, health-care workers, residents and staff in congregate settings, the homeless and those travelling.

She says Alberta was the first province to offer voluntary asymptomatic testing to all residents in May.

But she says asymptomatic cases are rare, as there are about seven positive cases out of 10,000 of those tests.

The province reported 146 new infections and 1,483 active cases on Thursday. Outbreaks have been declared at 10 schools.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 17, 2020.

The Canadian Press




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