AHS releases new online tool to help determine need for COVID testing

CALGARY — Alberta Health Services (AHS) has developed a simple online assessment tool to help people decide whether they need to be tested for COVID-19.

Available starting at 5 p.m. March 13, 2020, at ahs.ca/covid, this tool asks questions about symptoms and takes users through steps to help determine whether they should call Health Link at 811 for testing.

“AHS teams have come together to ensure we are protecting each other and keeping Albertans healthy and safe. Health Link is an important tool for Albertans right now,” says AHS President and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu. “Our staff are working to respond quickly to those who need to be assessed for COVID-19. This tool can help us reduce call volumes, keep the lines open for those with serious symptoms and reassure those Albertans who don’t need testing right now.”

If you have symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and have travelled outside Canada, or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, stay home and call Health Link at 811. If you are not seriously ill, do not go to a physician’s office, a healthcare facility or a lab without consulting with Health Link first. Call 911, if you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention and inform them you may have COVID-19. If you aren’t sure, visit the online tool at ahs.ca/covid or go to alberta.ca/covid19 for more information.

“We all want to stop the spread of COVID-19. Identifying and isolating people infected with COVID-19 is a critical way to help stop the spread,” says Tyler Shandro, Alberta’s Minister of Health. “This tool will help you decide whether you need a swab to determine if you have COVID-19, without leaving your home, which can help us further contain the spread.”

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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