Edmonton lab to offer at-home PCR testing as Alberta Health continues to limit access

With Alberta Health limiting who can get a PCR test for COVID-19, timely testing is a struggle right now for many. However, a local company believes it has a solution that doesn’t require a person to leave their house.

The microbiologists behind TestnTravel are rolling out an at-home testing service this week called “Testuber.”

“We’ll be able to come to somebody’s home on the day of (the) test and be able to deliver results on (the same) day,” Sarah Diggle explained, one of the founders of TestnTravel.

Click to play video: 'Alberta changes eligibility for COVID-19 PCR tests' Alberta changes eligibility for COVID-19 PCR tests

Alberta changes eligibility for COVID-19 PCR tests

“We feel that (it) will reach hard-to-reach parts of our community who maybe don’t have access to testing at the moment for COVID.”

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Diggle said PCR tests are in high demand.

“There is such a surge for AHS just at the moment that we are keen to pick up the slack. We’re ready to go we have staff that are ready to mobilize,” she said.

Because of the highly transmissible nature of the Omicron variant, the province has had to limit who can access PCR testing to those in high-risk settings.

Read more: Other data to shed light on Alberta COVID trends in absence of broad PCR tests: Hinshaw

“This was not a decision that was taken lightly,” chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday.

“We did prolong our ability to test broadly a little bit more than some other provinces were able to do, but unfortunately we reached the point we just weren’t able to continue that broad criteria.”

Earlier this month TestnTravel started offering drive-thru COVID testing, seven days a week, at their Concordia University lab.

They do both rapid and PCR tests. Rapid test results are immediate and PCR test results are guaranteed within 24 hours.

Read more: 36 more Albertans in hospital with COVID-19 Friday, 5 additional deaths reported

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“I think it’s that hesitancy for people to get out and about and testing and our mindset was to cater to that collective,” Diggle said.

“People like the timing, the fast turnaround time and that’s our ballpark and we’re really happy to do that.”

People in the Edmonton area — including bigger groups — can pre-book appointments online or through their app by clicking here.

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