Important updates regarding COVID-19 from AHS
Alberta Health Services has expanded their testing eligibility and the list of COVID-19 symptoms that qualify a person for testing. This expanded list is based on new and emerging information on the virus.
Individuals who have any of the following symptoms are eligible for testing:
- New cough or worsening of a chronic cough
- New or worsening shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat or painful swallowing
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Muscle or joint aches
- Feeling unwell in general, or new fatigue or severe exhaustion
- Gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or unexplained loss of appetite
- Loss of sense of smell or taste, or
- Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye
If you have any of the symptoms listed, stay home and complete the AHS self-assessment tool online COVID Self Assessment which has been updated to include all of these symptoms. Adding these new symptoms allows AHS to identify as early as possible the small percentage of cases that may present with more unusual symptoms.
AHS is also expanding the availability of testing to all close contacts of confirmed cases, whether they are feeling symptoms or not.
One of the other things AHS has seen in emerging evidence is the possibility of cases that remain asymptomatic throughout the course of their infection. While most people who get infected will eventually feel sick, there are some who do not. In order to improve the chances of finding cases who may not experience symptoms, AHS is also expanding the availability of testing to all close contacts of confirmed cases, whether they are feeling symptoms or not. Considering what is known about how this virus spreads, including that people can pass it on before they feel sick and the need to identify and contain cases as quickly as possible, this is a necessary step.
Again, if you are unsure of your symptoms, have questions regarding COVID-19, potential exposure, etc. do not come to work until you have completed the online assessment and follow the recommendations from AHS based on the result of your assessment. You may also call Health Link 811 for information. This is not the time to ‘tough it out’.
Alberta has also launched a COVID-19 tracing app, ABTraceTogether. This voluntary mobile contact tracing app helps you know if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or if you’ve exposed others. For more information and to download the app go to ABTraceTogether | Alberta.ca
Be well and remember we are all in this together.