People tested for COVID have options

SPN Staff

Albertans can now receive their COVID-19 test results through an SMS text message or an automated phone call.

Individuals who schedule a COVID-19 test through ahs.ca/ covid or get tested at an AHS assessment centre can now choose to get their results through those methods, says an Alberta Health Services [AHS] news release Sept. 10.

Anyone who does not consent to receive results by text message or through an automated phone call will instead receive results through a phone call from AHS.

As part of standard contact tracing process, all individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will also be contacted by phone by a member of the AHS Public Health team for further follow-up and support.

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro says the option will significantly reduce wait times for test resutls.

“We have heard Albertans’ concerns and responded,” he says.

AHS expects the SMS text message and autodialer systems will decrease the time it takes for Albertans to receive their result, after being swabbed, by a full day.

“It is important that anyone who is tested for COVID-19 receive the results as soon as possible, particularly those with a positive result,” says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health.

“I encourage all Albertans who arrange for a COVID-19 test to allow the text or autodialer system to provide their results. That way, you will have the benefit of this critical information as soon as it is available.”

Albertans who opt for an SMS text message are advised that results are texted any time within a 24-hour period, seven days a week. Automated phone calls are made between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Parents and guardians will also be able to consent to receive automated test results for dependents [aged 17 years and younger]. Each individual test result will be delivered by a dedicated call or text. It might mean that multiple calls or texts are delivered to a single number provided for a family unit.

Whether symptomatic or not: visit ahs.ca/covid, to book testing online.

For more information on COVID-19 test results, visit www.ahs.ca/ results.

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