Demand for COVID-19 testing surges in Alberta, results being delayed

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A surge in demand for COVID-19 testing in Alberta means some people are waiting longer than usual for results and the province is asking for patience.

"Test results are usually available within 1-4 days, but turnaround times vary between AHS zones and delays are possible due to high testing volumes," read a social media post.

A second post said Alberta Precision Laboratories is "taking steps to increase testing capacity," and priority is being given to processing tests for hospitalized patients and healthcare workers."

Anyone who can't make it to a scheduled test is asked to cancel it so the timeslot will be available for someone else.

More than 14,000 tests were done on Friday, then 12,000 on Saturday and 13,000 on Sunday.

Also on Monday, the province announced 4,740 new COVID-19 cases since Thursday, increasing active infections to 18,395.

Eighteen additional deaths were also reported on Monday, bringing the total number to 2,462.

The province was set to end testing and contact tracing in Alberta on Sept. 27 but Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reversed that decision as case numbers swell amid a fourth wave.

There are 18,395 active cases in Alberta as of Monday afternoon, including 803 people in hospital and 198 COVID-19 patients in ICU, which is the highest numbers since the pandemic began.

The rapid increase in demand for COVID-19 testing has led to longer than normal wait times for results for some Albertans. Test results are usually available within 1-4 days, but turnaround times vary between AHS zones and delays are possible due to high testing volumes

— Alberta Health Services (@AHS_media) September 13, 2021