Alberta hits one-million COVID-19 test milestone ahead of Labour Day weekend

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Despite the milestone, Hinshaw acknowledged recent challenges with testing, with some reporting waiting upwards of five days to receive results from their tests. She said the delays are due to a backlog of tests.

“We’ve seen timelines that are unfortunately longer than we’d like them to be,” Hinshaw said. “It is taking longer than would be ideal but we are working very hard to get that turn-around time shortened as quickly as possible.”

Hinshaw said the wait-time reduction involves measures like streamlining administrative processes in the lab and reworking how test samples are transported to labs.

Alberta boasts a testing capacity of 16,000 tests per day, but its record single-day output for testing remains just over 12,250.

Hinshaw said the province anticipates a greater demand for testing as fall approaches, with more people spending time indoors, as well as the return of the influenza season.

“We are working with closely the lab to make sure that we have the capacity to manage a potential increase in those who have symptoms and make plans for how to move specimens through as quickly as possible,” she said.

Hinshaw urges long-weekend caution as 164 new cases reported

Alberta reported 164 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, a mark Hinshaw said should serve as a warning ahead of the Labour Day long weekend.

“We are heading into the last long weekend of summer and I know many people are excited to enjoy it,” she said.

“However, the number of cases being reported today is a clear reminder that we cannot afford to be reckeless. COVID-19 does not take holidays and we have seen weekend barbecues and other gatherings spark outbreaks in the past.”

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