Outpatient Treatment for COVID-19


Paxlovid™ / Remdesivir

Alberta Health Services and Alberta Health are administering several outpatient treatments, which include:

To prevent high risk patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms from progressing to severe disease if taken within five days of symptom onset (seven days for Remdesivir).

All outpatient treatments will be available following an assessment by a healthcare professional.

Paxlovid™ / Remdesivir

How is Paxlovid™ Administered?

Paxlovid™ is taken orally in pill form. One dose is a combination of two nirmatrelvir (pink) tablets and one ritonavir (white) tablet, taken twice a day for five days. Patients with a reduced kidney function may have their dose reduced to two pills twice a day for five days.

How is Remdesivir Administered?

Remdesivir is given intravenously (through a vein) by a qualified health professional. The medicine is given over 30 minutes. You will be watched closely for another 15 to 30 minutes after getting the treatment. You can expect the appointment to last about 1.5 hours, including setup time.

Which patients are most likely to benefit from Paxlovid™ and Remdesivir?

If you test positive for COVID-19 and one or more of the following scenarios apply to you, you may benefit from treatment to prevent your symptoms from getting worse. The following are guidelines, and a healthcare provider can still assess patients on a case-by-case basis for appropriateness.

Criteria: Immunocompromised*


Criteria: Living in long-term care or designated supportive living


Criteria: Age 18 or older with three or more high risk comorbidities**


Criteria: Age 50 or older (40 or older for First Nations, Métis or Inuit) with two or more high risk comorbidities**


Criteria: Age 60 or older (50 or older for First Nations, Métis or Inuit) with one or more high risk comorbidities**

*Immunocompromised patients under 18 years of age should consult with their specialist for consideration of treatment. Transplant patients should NOT be offered Paxlovid™ due to the potential for life-threatening drug interactions.

** High risk comorbidities include:

  • received fewer than three doses of COVID vaccine
  • diabetes (taking medication for treatment)
  • obesity (BMI >30)
  • chronic kidney disease
  • congestive heart failure
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and moderate-to-severe asthma
  • pregnancy

If you have any questions about your eligibility status, more information can be found in the FAQs:

How do I Access Paxlovid™ or Remdesivir?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and you believe you meet the eligibility criteria (above), please call your primary care practitioner. If you don’t have one, or your primary care practitioner isn’t prescribing Paxlovid yet, call the dedicated line at 1-844-343-0971 to find out if you qualify to receive treatment. Do not call 811.

When you call, you will be asked to leave a message. Staff will call you back and ask you some questions before referring you to a health professional who will determine if you are eligible, get your consent and write you a prescription for Paxlovid™ or book an appointment for you to receive Remdesivir at either a third-party site, in your home or at an AHS site.

If you will be receiving Paxlovid™, the prescribing physician will direct you to pick up your prescription at the closest community pharmacy that is stocking Paxlovid™. Patients who cannot have their prescription picked up by someone else are advised to have it delivered or arrange for curb-side pickup to mitigate the risk of spreading the infection.

Please make sure you have the following information prepared before calling:

  • Date That Your Symptoms Started
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Status
  • Current Medication List (including over-the-counter and health products)

Can I Choose Whether I Receive Paxlovid™ or Remdesivir?

During your assessment, a physician will recommend which treatment is best for you, but you won’t be able to choose which medication you receive.

Why are Sotrovimab and Evusheld Treatments No Longer Being Recommended?

Recent evidence suggests Sotrovimab and Evusheld may not be effective in treating or, in the case of Evusheld, preventing, the dominant COVID-19 variants in Alberta at this time. Paxlovid and Remdesivir are the only two medications recommended at this time. In situations where neither of these medications can be prescribed, your physician may consider Sotrovimab or Evusheld on a case-by-case basis.