Demand for COVID-19 testing remains consistently high in Alberta’s big cities

It has been four months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and testing in the Edmonton and Calgary areas remains consistently high.

Demand is also consistent, albeit lower, in the South zone.

Numbers obtained by Global News from Alberta Health Services show that more than 2,000 tests were booked almost every day for the last week in the Edmonton and Calgary zones.

The number of appointments booked in the Edmonton zone has grown from around 600 a day at the end of May to between 1,300 and 3,400 in early to mid-June.

A graph showing testing demand in the Edmonton zone in recent weeks.
A graph showing testing demand in the Edmonton zone in recent weeks. Tonia Gloweski/Global News

RELATED: Thousands of Edmontonians continue to book appointments for COVID-19 testing

AHS has previously told Global News that it did not know what was contributing to the increased demand.

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In May, the province expanded testing to all Albertans, regardless of whether they were showing COVID-19 symptoms.

Last month, high demand in the Edmonton area led AHS to expand capacity and extend hours at its south side assessment centre. Staff at that site are now able to do 3,000 swabs a day compared to 1,500 previously.

READ MORE: Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing will be available to anyone in Alberta

In early July, Kerry Williamson, spokesperson for AHS, said the health authority is currently able to meet demand with the current assessment centres but have options if capacity needs to be increased.

The number of tests booked last week break down per zone as follows:

Edmonton zone:

  • July 6 – 3,623
  • July 7 – 3,517
  • July 8 – 3,345
  • July 9 – 2,763
  • July 10 – 2,177
  • July 11 – 1,617
  • July 12 – 2,028

Calgary Zone:

  • July 6 – 4,959
  • July 7 – 5,035
  • July 8 –  4,905
  • July 9 – 4,076
  • July 10 – 3,587
  • July 11 – 2,523
  • July 12 – 3,422

South Zone:

  • July 7: 455
  • July 8: 557
  • July 9: 461
  • July 10: 379
  • July 11: 255
  • July 12: 287
  • July 13: 556

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