SHA discontinues asymptomatic PCR COVID tests
The demand for COVID-19 testing has risen, due to both the resurgence of the virus across Saskatchewan and now with the requirement to show proof of negative test results if proof of vaccination is not available in order to access many businesses and events. The high level of testing requests is resulting in significant demands on the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) Test and Assessment sites and Laboratory Medicine teams.
The SHA has asked its testing and laboratory teams to prioritize specimens belonging to individuals experiencing COVID symptoms (symptomatic). Streamlining testing within the SHA to symptomatic and select asymptomatic testing will ensure a rapid response to outbreak management and case investigation of COVID positive individuals in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our province.
SHA is asking the public for support and understanding during this change. Health-care workers have been working incredibly hard throughout this pandemic so please treat them with kindness and respect whenever and wherever you interact with them.
As announced earlier, SHA COVID-19 PCR tests will only be provided for those meeting the following classifications (this includes both tests offered in community as well as Point of Care Testing (POC):
- Persons with symptoms of COVID-19
- In community, those hospitalized and in congregate living
- Further priority orders include Medical Health Officer requests for STAT testing (surveillance in congregate living and high-risk settings).
- Those with a positive antigen test
- Close contacts to a positive COVID case
- Persons identified in an outbreak situation, as ordered by a Medical Health Officer with specific focus on healthcare workers, students and staff within educational institutions
- Anyone requiring a transfer or admission to congregate settings such as long term care, personal care home, social services, and acute care facilities
- Surveillance testing of immunocompromised patients including chemotherapy and hemodialysis
Individuals needing to acquire proof of a negative COVID-19 test will be asked to access private fee for service COVID testing companies within Saskatchewan. A list of companies and locations is available on Saskatchewan.ca/COVID19.
The SHA continues to strongly recommend that everyone eligible for vaccination immediately get immunized against COVID-19 and its variants. Vaccines can be accessed through SHA clinics or pharmacies. To view the clinics and book an appointment visit saskatchewan.ca/COVID19, Vaccinations are also available at participating pharmacies throughout the province, which can be found at saskatchewan.ca/covid19-pharmacies.
Once you are fully vaccinated, options to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination are as follows:
- A QR code/MySaskHealthRecord vaccine certificate uploaded to SK Vax Wallet
- A printed copy of your MySaskHealthRecord vaccine certificate (with or without a QR code)
- A screenshot of your MySaskHealthRecord vaccine certificate (with or without a QR code) saved to your device
- An earlier version of your MySaskHealthRecord COVID-19 vaccine certificate
- Your wallet card issued at time of vaccinations
- A printed copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record from public health. (Please note that Public Health is dealing with a high volume of calls so there will likely be a significant delay in responding and/or providing records.)