Last Updated: April 14, 2021
How to Get Your COVID-19 Test Results|Legal Requirements for Adults or 18+ Not in High School| Legal Requirements for Under 18 or 18+ Attending High School|You Do Not Have To Self-Isolate If...|Positive Swab Test Result|Negative Swab Test Result|Indeterminate or Invalid Result| Types of COVID-19 Tests| Rapid Point-of-Care COVID-19 Testing| Blood Test for COVID-19 (serology test)
If you are awaiting your test results you must isolate unitl you have had confirmation of a negative test and your symptoms are no longer present. These are the next steps for after you have had a COVID-19 test in Alberta. If you require a test complete the online assessment tool or call 811 to book your test.
Albertans 14 years of age and older can access their COVID-19 lab test results in MyHealth Records. This is a secure Government of Alberta service that helps keep track of your health information. Register for a MyAlberta Digital ID to access MyHealth Records.
Parents/guardians can access their children’s COVID-19 test results, in addition to their own, in MyHealth Records. You will need to provide your child’s personal health number and test date. Test results are accessible as a printable PDF.
Access your Children’s Test Results on MyHealth Records - As of October 1, 2020
Parents can now access their children’s COVID-19 test results in addition to their own results by signing up for your MyHealth Records account, at alberta.ca/myhealthrecords.
This new feature allows parents and guardians to securely receive their child’s COVID-19 test results and print off the results for those who need them.
Autodialer & SMS
Albertans have the option to receive positive and negative COVID-19 test results over the phone through an autodialer system or by SMS text message.
You will be provided with the opportunity to consent to receive automated test results at the time of booking you COVID-19 test. If you do not consent to receive test results through autodialer or SMS, someone from AHS will call you directly to make sure you get your test results.
Parents/guardians can consent to receive automated test results for dependents aged 17 years and younger. Each individual test result will be delivered by a dedicated call or text. This means that multiple calls or texts may be delivered to a single number provided for a family unit.
All positive results will be followed up through a phone call from AHS Public Health.
Automated phone calls are delivered between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., seven days a week. SMS results are delivered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means you may receive your test result by SMS anytime within a 24 hour period, day or night.
The autodialer will make up to three attempts to deliver the test result by phone call. A voice message will be left on the third and final attempt if the call is still not answered.
Please note: to get your test results by autodialer you will need to remove any anonymous call-blocking settings from your phone so that the autodialer call comes through. Please also make sure you answer any anonymous calls and read anonymous texts from numbers that you do not recognize.
See SMS Text & Autodialer FAQ for more information.
You must isolate if:
Follow these steps immediately to help protect yourself and others around you.
If you have symptoms and your test result for COVID-19 is positive, you are legally required to isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started.
If you have not had any symptoms, but your test is positive, you are legally required to isolate for 10 days from the date you were tested; this date will change if you develop symptoms.
You will be notified by AHS if you are confirmed to be positive for a variant strain of COVID-19. You are legally required to isolate immediately for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started, or from the date you were tested. See Isolation & Quarantine for more information on isolation supports.
Once submitted, contact tracers will review all close contacts and a text message notification will be delivered to all close contacts whose mobile numbers are entered into the tool. Learn more about the contact tracing process. Start identifying your close contacts now.
Alternatively, if you are using the ABTraceTogether app, AHS contact tracers will ask you to volunteer your ABTraceTogether logs so other users that you've had close contact with can be notified. You can also upload your contact tracing data using the self-service feature on MyHealth Records.
Learn more about Close Contacts of a COVID-19 Case.
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by phone by a member of AHS’ Public Health team for follow-up and support.
If you receive an indeterminate or invalid result, we are sorry, but we are unable to accurately determine your test results from the sample provided. You need to get tested again. You must follow any isolation or quarantine directions you were given. To schedule a re-test, visit ahs.ca/testing.
There are different kinds of tests for COVID-19:
Viral test (also called a COVID-19 nucleic acid test) – this test is done by collecting a swab, from your nose or throat, to look for the virus
Antibody test (also called a serology test)– this is a blood test to look for antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19
COVID-19 Assessment Centres and other settings
Point of Care Testing (POCT), is an important pillar of Alberta’s COVID-19 testing program, providing Albertans with faster, more convenient testing for the disease. Two types of POCT for COVID-19 have been rolled out at select sites throughout the province, including COVID-19 assessment centres.
The tests are used for patients who are within the first seven days of exhibiting symptoms, enabling APL to quickly identify positive cases. Testing may also be done in other populations, such as those with symptoms with onset greater than 7 days and those that are close contacts of someone with COVID-19. APL continues to review and expand the use of rapid POCT where testing can provide greatest value for public health authorities to manage COVID-19.
If you are eligible and consent to receive a rapid POCT COVID-19 test, for example at a COVID-19 assessment centre, two swabs will be collected at the time of your appointment. This is, in part, because all negative results will require additional confirmation by the lab.
The result notification process for rapid POCT at assessment centres will follow the consent you provided at the time of booking (e.g. SMS text or phone call):
Workplaces and some community settings
Rapid testing is also used to screen for potential COVID-19 infection in asymptomatic individuals. This is being done in several workplace settings across the province. Screening using rapid tests identifies some, but not all, pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic cases. This type of identification can limit viral transmission.
If you receive a COVID-19 Point of Care Test (POCT) through workplace or community asymptomatic screening and your result is positive, you need to isolate immediately and you need to book a second, standard (non-POCT) COVID-19 test at a local assessment centre to confirm your positive result. This is because rapid POCT tests have lower accuracy compared to lab-based PCR tests.
Book your second COVID-19 test by using the COVID-19 Testing / Online Booking Tool, or by calling Health Link at 811. If you are calling 811, inform them of your positive asymptomatic screening POCT result.
If your POCT workplace or community asymptomatic screen result is negative, understand this this is a point-in-time result. It does not guarantee that you are not infected with COVID-19 or will not spread it to others. Continue to follow all public health guidance to help prevent the spread.
As of July 2, 2020, serology testing for COVID-19 is available primarily for assessing the number of people in Alberta that have of antibodies to COVID-19 and for research use. It will not be available for the general public.
Serology testing is done to determine whether you have had COVID-19 in the past, and now have antibodies against the virus.
A positive serology does NOT mean a patient is immune to COVID-19. At this time, there is a lack of evidence on whether having antibodies to COVID-19 means you are protected against reinfection with COVID-19 and if so, how long that protection would last. Ongoing studies will help reveal more information to answer these questions.