COVID-19 Update: October
Alberta Health Services (AHS) has made some changes to their COVID-19 testing approach. All Albertans are now required to book an appointment to get tested at the AHS Assessment Centres. Currently, 93% of the tests are already being booked by appointment, online or by calling HealthLink. By shifting to a province-wide by-appointment process, this will make on-site testing quicker and more efficient. Anyone can book an appointment online. For those that don’t have access to a computer, they can complete the assessment and booking process by calling HealthLink at 811. It is important to ensure that if you book an appointment to be sure to keep the appointment. You can change or cancel your appointment online if unable to attend. The assessment centres are seeing a high no-show rate lately, which causes further delays in making appointments available for those who need them. For example, Calgary saw a 14% no show rate this past weekend.
Contact tracers are also reporting that an increasing number of people are reluctant to share information about:
- Where they may have been exposed to the virus
- Where they have been while infectious
- And who they have been in contact with
Choosing not to work with contact tracers makes the situation worse. If AHS is not able to trace contacts and prevent the virus from spreading, the impacts will continue to grow.
The Edmonton Zone remains the hot spot in the province. It will be at least 1-2 weeks before the impact of the voluntary measures that were announced last week by AHS, are seen.
AHS is also encouraging all Albertans to get the influenza immunization this Fall. This year’s influenza program begins on Monday, Oct. 19. Click here for more information: Influenza Immunization | Alberta Health Services
As Halloween is just around the corner, AHS has provided some guidance on how to have a safe Halloween. Click here for more information: Halloween during COVID-19 | Alberta.ca
COVID-19 is a difficult virus to contain and the more cases and spread we see in our communities, the more likely we will see it in other places as well. This is why we all play an important role in protecting each other. We are all being encouraged to be extra diligent right now by:
- Staying home if sick
- Keeping distanced from those outside your household or cohort
- Wearing masks
- Regularly washing or sanitizing your hands
- Following the public health measures every day