More people want coronavirus tests in the province, which has increased wait times for appointments and results, according to Alberta Health Services (AHS).
“We are experiencing some challenges with meeting the surge in demand for testing appointments, which in turn is impacting how many tests are completed on a daily basis,” AHS said in a statement to Global News on Wednesday.
Demand by zone
The Calgary zone is seeing the highest demand, AHS said.
“Over the past week in the Calgary zone, we received on average of more than 4,000 online referrals for testing each day with an unprecedented single day of more 7,597 requests on Monday,” AHS said.
The Edmonton zone had a spike in demand, too, but the area is meeting targets and there are “ample appointments available online,” AHS said.
Edmonton had 4,044 requests for appointments on Monday.
There are no issues in other zones, AHS said. On Monday, the requests reached 962 in the central zone, 723 in the north zone and 594 in the south zone.
Across the province Monday, AHS said it had 13,922 requests for appointments — the highest day yet.
“We are currently completing between 7,000 and 8,000 COVID-19 tests every day, provincially,” AHS said. “Our labs currently have the capacity labs to complete about 10,000 tests a day.”
What AHS says it’s doing
The health authority said assessment centre hours were extended and more staff members were deployed to help with appointments, testing and callbacks.
“We are confident these steps will help to alleviate delays in getting appointments, allow us to meet demand and increase our testing numbers and daily capacity,” AHS said, noting the online tool is the most convenient option for booking.
Results usually take two to four days, but they might take longer “due to the current unprecedented demand for testing,” AHS said.
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