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COVID-19 testing centre at Edmonton Expo Centre closes its doors

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WATCH ABOVE: Alberta’s top doctor Dr. Deena Hinshaw is recommending at-risk Albertans who have not received their COVID-19 booster dose should do so as soon as possible as the Omicron subvariant BA.2 becomes the dominant strain in the province. – Mar 23, 2022

The COVID-19 testing site at the Edmonton Expo Centre will permanently shut down operations at the end of the day Friday.

Alberta Health Services said more than 470,000 swabs have been completed at the testing site since it opened in September 2020.

Read more: New COVID-19 testing centre opens at Edmonton Expo Centre

AHS said the closure comes as “demand for COVID-19 testing continues to decrease.” Access to PCR tests at AHS assessment centres remains limited to those with risk factors for severe outcomes from the disease and those who live and work in high-risk settings.

PCR testing remains available to those who are eligible at five other AHS sites in the Edmonton zone. AHS said these other sites are able to accommodate the testing volume currently being done at the Expo Centre.

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“This location has played an important role in the Edmonton Zone’s pandemic response and AHS is grateful for the tremendous partnership and support of the City of Edmonton and Edmonton EXPO Centre,” AHS said in a media release Friday afternoon.

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Alberta averages 5 deaths per day related to COVID-19 over the weekend – Mar 23, 2022

In an update on COVID-19 on Wednesday, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said there is a “substantial supply” of free rapid test kits at pharmacies across Alberta. Albertans can check the Alberta Blue Cross website to find locations offering free kits.

“With rapid tests, if you are feeling sick, it is important to take two tests 24 hours apart if the first one is negative. It’s also important to stay home and away from others until you are feeling better, even if both tests are negative,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said.

“I know we all wish we could forget about COVID-19 completely, but unfortunately, it will be with us for a long time to come.”

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Read more: Drop-in COVID-19 testing in Edmonton to move to Expo Centre

Alberta has moved to releasing COVID-19 data once per week. As of Wednesday, there were 956 people in hospital with COVID-19, 56 of whom were in intensive care.

Since the pandemic began, Alberta has completed nearly seven million PCR tests for COVID-19.

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