December 14, 2022
AHS has launched an updated respiratory assessment tool to provide Albertans - including families with young children – with guidance to manage a wide range of respiratory illnesses, how to care for symptoms at home, and when to seek additional care by knowing your options.
Previously used to analyze COVID-19 symptoms and book PCR testing, the updated AHS respiratory illness tool will now provide an assessment of all respiratory illness symptoms, helping bring COVID-19 management in-line with other respiratory diseases like RSV, and influenza.
“Building off the success of our COVID-19 online assessment tool, which has been accessed over 15M times, we have released an updated version with guidance and advice for a range of respiratory illnesses,” says Dr. Kristin Klein, Medical Officer of Health, AHS. “This tool is an example of the steps that AHS is taking to ensure that the guidance we provide to adults and parents is reflecting the current reality of the mix of viruses this respiratory illness season.”
With the increase in cases of respiratory illness across the province, and with the influx of young patients at our pediatric acute care facilities, the updated tool provides Albertans with another option to obtain tangible advice for symptom management. The tool will help guide individuals to the best care options for their symptoms, including self-care at home, or seeking care at a walk-in clinic, family physician, or pharmacy for mild to moderate symptoms. As always, those with severe symptoms will be recommended to seek care at an urgent care centre, or an emergency department.
“This is another tool, in addition to other available resources such as the HEAL website, to help know your options and use appropriate care whether that be in-home or elsewhere,” says Dr. Klein. “Above all, however, we strongly encourage all Albertans to get immunized against influenza and COVID-19 this season, stay home when sick and do everything we can to reduce the spread of illness in our communities.”
The online tool can be accessed quickly and easily from a computer, mobile, or hand-held device. If individuals are not able to use the tool by themselves, Albertans can also continue to call Health Link at 811 for assistance.
Albertans are reminded that with this updated respiratory tool, all criteria for obtaining a PCR test through AHS remains the same. As always, rapid test kits for COVID-19 will continue to be available at participating pharmacies across the province which can be found here.
As cases of respiratory illness continue to rise in our province and with the holiday season upon us, we continue to encourage everyone to stay home and away from others when feeling sick.
To prevent spread of any illness, we encourage frequent hand washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It’s also important to cover coughs, and avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Albertans are also encouraged to wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask in public places if they choose to do so. Book your influenza and COVID-19 immunizations at ahs.ca/vaccine.
The updated respiratory assessment tool can be found on the AHS website here.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.