August 4th, 2020

More local pharmacies to offer COVID-19 testing

By Jensen, Randy on August 1, 2020.

LETHBRIDGE HERALD

More pharmacies in Lethbridge have signed on as Alberta expands its asymptomatic testing, helping more people access timely COVID-19 testing close to home.

Any pharmacy in the province that wants to participate and is able to meet the safety requirements can now offer testing to Albertans who have no symptoms and no known exposure to COVID-19.

The expanded pharmacy testing follows the success of Alberta’s pilot program launched in June. An initial group of pilot pharmacies safely tested more than 10,300 Albertans, increasing testing capacity and helping support a safe relaunch.

To date, more than 677,000 COVID-19 tests have been completed across the province.

“With cases on the rise in Alberta, we must all do our part in the fight against COVID-19. The actions we each take today will help protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities tomorrow. Testing helps us understand more about the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, in a news release from the province.

Each pharmacy will adhere 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.

Albertans are encouraged to reach out to a participating pharmacy for more information about how to arrange a test.

Testing is available to all Albertans, even if they don’t have symptoms. Asymptomatic testing is particularly encouraged:

– Before or after spending time with individuals who have a higher risk of serious health outcomes (e.g., anyone over 65 or with underlying medical conditions);

– Before or after travelling internationally, attending an event with recent travellers or hosting them;

– Before or after participating in activities or events that may have put you at a higher risk of exposure (e.g., a large gathering where physical distancing was not followed); and

– For frontline workers who have regular interactions with Albertans, particularly those at higher risk of serious outcomes.

The list of Lethbridge pharmacies as provided by Alberta Blue Cross now offering COVID-19 testing includes:

– The Medicine Shoppe, 1016A 20 St. S., 403-380-3282;

– Save-On Foods, 1240 2 Ave. A N., 403-380-6400;

– Real Canadian Superstore, 3515 Mayor Magrath Drive S., 403-331-2535;

– Rexall, 12 Aquitania Blvd. W., Unit 20, 587-486-9357;

– London Drugs 65-1240 2A Ave. N., 403-320-8899

– Shoppers Drug Mart, 380 University Drive W., 403-380-5057; and

– Shoppers Drug Mart, 3071 26 Ave. N., 403-320-1470

Contact the pharmacy directly to arrange an appointment and for any additional instructions. Also, check Alberta Blue Cross website for updates of additional participating pharmacies.

In addition to participating pharmacies, anyone who wants to get tested can continue to book an appointment online with the AHS assessment tool.

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