AHS to Open COVID-19 Testing Site in Vegreville
Alberta Health Services has confirmed it is working to open a COVID-19 testing site in Vegreville.
“We are collaborating with the town to do this as they are providing the space. As the site becomes available, it will be included in the online self-assessment and booking tool, accessible to all eligible Albertans for booking,”stated Melissa Ballantyne, Manager of the Central Zone with AHS Communications & Community Engagement.
“We anticipate this site will be ready for appointments in mid-November,” noted Ballantyne.
As to how and why the testing site was chosen for Vegreville, Ballantyne said, “Our public health teams regularly assess the zone from an access perspective, and a gap had been identified between Vegreville and Vermilion in terms of our goal of working to have access within a 100 kilometer radius.”
Vegreville Mayor Tim MacPhee reacted to the news by saying, “We are very happy that AHS will be opening a testing site in town for the citizens of our community, which means not just town proper, but all the smaller communities that we serve as the hub in this region. I know a lot of parents with school-age children are struggling right now to drive an hour to Camrose or St. Paul and back, so hopefully this will take some of the stress out of everybody’s life.”
Erin Robert is the young Vegreville mother who wrote a letter to Health Minister Tyler Shandro requesting a COVID-19 testing site ne made available in the community. She also sent the letter to town council requesting support in late September. Council endorsed the letter and forwarded it to the regional health council. Roberts’ letter was also forwarded to Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville MLA Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk.
As far as eligibility, Ballantyne said, testing is available by appointment for Albertans who: Have symptoms of COVID-19;
- Are close contacts of a confirmed case, whether symptomatic or not;
- Are linked to a known outbreak, whether symptomatic or not; and,
- Asymptomatic Albertans who are:
- School teachers and/or school staff;
- Healthcare workers;
- Staff and/or residents at congregate living facilities, including long-term care;
- Experiencing homelessness; or
- Require asymptomatic testing for the purpose of travel
“The AHS online booking tool continues to be the most efficient and convenient means of booking your testing appointment through AHS,” noted Ballantyne.