At the most recent COVID-19 update, Health Minister Jason Copping and Dr. Deena Hinshaw addressed the province about what's happening with COVID within the province, including rumours regarding the Rapid Test Program.
“I want to address the speculation I've heard about Alberta's Rapid Test Program coming to an end at Alberta's pharmacies. These rumours are not correct. Free rapid tests continue to be available to all Albertans.” said Minister Copping.
As of April 12, Alberta has distributed more than 40 million rapid tests, including 14.9 million for individual use.
“I encourage everyone to pick up kits for their household so they're prepared if symptoms develop. We have an ample supply of testing kits and participating pharmacies can continue to order them as needed to meet demand.”
Copping says the PCR positivity rate from Tuesday, April 5 to Monday, April 11 is stable at 26.6 per cent compared to 26.3 per cent last week.
According to Copping, wastewater virus levels are currently trending upwards in Calgary, Edmonton, and some smaller centers. Hospitalizations have increased as well, but Copping says there is no immediate cause for concern over the rise.
“Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have increased slightly. Over the past week, we may see some further increase in the next few weeks, but we are prepared for it.”
Overall hospital occupancy is stable at around 90 per cent and admissions and ICUs have been within their normal base of 173 beds on most days.
Dr. Hinshaw says there are 1053 people with COVID-19 in the hospital, including 48 in the ICU.
Currently, BA-2 is the dominant COVID-19 variant in Alberta, making up more than 80 per cent of all new cases.
Hinshaw recommends everybody eligible to get their third and fourth dose should book their appointment.