If you’ve booked a COVID-19 test at the Edmonton Expo Centre, it’s because you’re either experiencing symptoms of the disease or you’re a close contact of a positive case. But for everyone else, there is another option: private, rapid testing.
Three Medicine Shoppe locations in the Edmonton area are offering rapid COVID-19 tests for $175: Meadowlark, St. Albert and Sherwood Park.
However, you cannot be experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, and you can’t have been in close contact with a known positive case.
“We do get results within 24 hours. We can email it to you or just print it off if you wanted to come and get it,” explained pharmacy technician Gen Moen.
“A lot of people have been using it for flying. Some places are requiring it — some airlines.”
Moen said customers need to pre-book an appointment either over the phone or online.
When they arrive, they’ll be asked to stay in their car so that a pre-screening, including a temperature check, can be completed.
Then the test will be done using a throat swab.
“In and out — we can do it within a minute,” Moen explained.
There are no age restrictions for the private testing.
As for the expansion of rapid-testing technology in a way that’s publicly funded, Alberta Health Services began using the tests in long-term care homes, remote rural communities and places with outbreaks the weekend before Christmas.
“We have identified 25 additional rural hospital sites and a number of additional assessment centres and homeless shelter locations across the province where we plan to implement rapid testing in the coming weeks,” AHS spokesperson Kerry Williamson said in a statement.
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