Health-care providers no longer required to oversee screening programs
Alberta is making it easier for employers and employees to go through the process of rapid COVID-19 testing.
The province is no longer requiring businesses to have a health-care provider oversee their screening program.
“As cases are on the rise, we know that many organizations can benefit from rapid screening programs in order to catch cases early and break chains of transmission,” says Tyler Shandro, minister of health. “We have heard from Alberta’s business community and other organizations that hiring a health-care provider was a significant and costly barrier for many organizations. This change will allow more organizations to access rapid testing kits without compromising health and safety.”
The decision to remove the requirement for health-care provider oversight is supported by Health Canada and aligns with rapid testing programs implemented by Ontario and some international jurisdictions.
Organizations will be responsible for ensuring that anyone administering the test is adequately trained. To be eligible for rapid testing kits, employers and service providers must have a screening program plan that outlines:
- protocols for administering the tests
- the use of personal protective equipment
- processes for reporting results and managing individuals who screen positive
Priority will be given to organizations involved with vulnerable populations, high-risk settings and workplaces, essential and front-line services, critical industry, and sectors that support the reopening of economic and social activity.
More than 90 Alberta businesses and organizations have been approved through the rapid testing program, and 910,000 tests have been committed or shipped to date. This includes companies in critical industries such as oil and gas, transportation, meatpacking and utilities.