Posted on Dec 7, 2020
Rapid Testing for Continuing Care Residents and Staff
The Alberta NDP and medical experts are calling for a twice-weekly rapid testing regime to be introduced in continuing care centres after 150 people died in those facilities in November alone. As of Friday, there have been 374 deaths in continuing care, making up 64 per cent of total COVID-19 related deaths in the province.
The testing regime, developed in consultation with infectious disease specialists and frontline workers during discussions with the NDP in recent days, would be two-fold:
- Twice-weekly rapid tests should be administered to residents daily and to staff at the beginning of each shift. Staff testing positive would be sent home to quarantine. Residents testing positive would be isolated from other residents.
- Those testing positive would also be pushed to the front of the line for a stand PCR test. The NDP believes results of these should be determined within 24 hours to allow for further contact tracing of potential infection in continuing care.
“We must immediately take steps to save lives and a major piece of that is testing for the presence of COVID-19 so we can keep staff that are infected home and so we can quarantine seniors living in continuing care before they spread the virus further. If we can do daily testing for NHL hockey players, surely we can adopt similar measures in our continuing care facilities.” - Rachel Notley