Sumary of Alberta scaling back on testing for variants of concern so labs can keep up with general COVID-19 testing: AHS:
- As Alberta continues to be inundated with new COVID-19 cases that are also swamping hospitals, the province’s health authority confirmed Friday that testing for variants of concern is being significantly scaled back to maintain lab capacity for general coronavirus testing.
- “Alberta’s COVID-19 testing program will no longer screen for variants of concern on all positive COVID-19 test samples,” Alberta Health Services spokesperson Kerry Williamson said in an email to Global News on Friday night.
- “Instead, Alberta Precision Laboratories (APL) will begin screening for variants of concern only among targeted populations, including hospitalized and emergency department patients, patients involved in outbreaks, health-care workers and recent international travellers.
- ” Alberta teachers frustrated, anxious about COVID-19 outbreaks: unionGlobal News has obtained an internal memo dated Sept.
- 10 from APL to health-care providers about the change in procedure which notes “positivity rates and overall test volumes of COVID-19 have rapidly increased, necessitating a change in the testing strategy to maintain laboratory capacity and turnaround times.
- ” Story continues below “Alberta’s testing program is currently completing approximately 10,000 tests per day, and most patients are receiving their results within 24 to 48 hours,” Williamson told Global News.
- He noted that currently, “virtually all COVID-19 cases in Alberta are the Delta variant, and public health measures in place to prevent and manage spread of the virus are now based on the variants of concern being widespread in our community.
- ” Unvaccinated pregnant Alberta woman dies from COVID-related infection According to Williamson, APL began screening positive COVID-19 cases for variants of concern in early 2021 but shifted to “a targeted approach to screening this past May in order to meet rising demand during the third wave of the pandemic.