NHL COVID-19 testing not expected to delay lab work for Albertans, Dynalife CEO says

Click to play video 'NHL players move into their new bubbles' NHL players move into their new bubbles
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Medical laboratory Dynalife will be doing COVID-19 testing on NHL players and support staff during the playoffs but the CEO says lab work for Albertans should not be affected.

CEO Jason Pincock said the company has a dedicated team for NHL-related testing; coaches and players will be tested daily for the virus.

READ MORE: NHL teams arrive in Canadian bubbles of Toronto, Edmonton ahead of league restart

“We brought in additional staff to do the swabbing of the players. We brought in additional scientific staff to support the testing,” he told Global News on Monday.

Click to play video 'Hub city hockey fever taking over Edmonton' Hub city hockey fever taking over Edmonton
Hub city hockey fever taking over Edmonton

Pincock said all sites are still operating as normal and lab work for Albertans will not be delayed as a result of the NHL testing.

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“The two have absolutely nothing to do with one another so there really should be no impact whatsoever on that,” he said.

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On Monday, the NHL reported that no player tested positive for COVID-19 over the final week of training camps.

READ MORE: NHL reveals details for Edmonton, Toronto hub city bubbles, in-game presentation

The league said, in a release, that 4,256 tests were administered to more than 800 players during the seven-day period from July 18-25.

All 24 teams entered the secure zones in the hub cities of Edmonton and Toronto on Sunday to start Phase 4 of the plan.

Click to play video 'Questions raised over NHL players’ private COVID-19 tests compared to the public' Questions raised over NHL players’ private COVID-19 tests compared to the public
Questions raised over NHL players’ private COVID-19 tests compared to the public

Friends of Medicare said Wednesday that “preferential privately paid access” should have never been allowed.

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“Even though these hockey players are paying privately for this testing, they’re basically being allowed to jump the queue while Albertans are forced to wait for the testing… We want this government to immediately rectify this situation,” it said.

Alberta Health said Wednesday that private testing paid for by the NHL is not impacting public wait times or testing availability.

“It is not being done by [Alberta Health Services] and [Alberta Precision Laboratories], which have been conducting all public COVID-19 testing in the province. We are working hard to reduce wait times for tests and speed up the time it takes to get results,” it said.

“AHS is deploying more staff to assessment centres, expanding hours to help with the increased demand, and work is underway to hire more staff. We will be exploring any and all other options to ensure testing is as timely and robust as possible.”

Read more: Alberta Health Services sees surge in coronavirus testing demand, long wait times

AHS said Wednesday that it is continuing to see increased testing demand and wait times for appointments and results.

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“The most significant demand continues to be in the Calgary zone at this time,” it said.

“The online tool continues to be the most efficient and convenient means of booking your testing appointment… The average time to get test results is between two to four days; however, there may be some exceptions due to the current unprecedented demand for testing.”

– With files from The Canadian Press and Global News’ Kaylen Small