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Alberta teachers, school staff should be tested before classes start: Hinshaw

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw providing daily COVID-19 update on June 3, 2020. (Photo taken from Citynews livestream)

EDMONTON – Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says all teachers and school staff across the province should get tested for COVID-19 before students return to classrooms in September.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw says they should make arrangements to be tested at least once before schools reopen then regularly throughout the school year.

Hinshaw is also encouraging other Albertans who do not have coronavirus symptoms and have not been in contact with anyone diagnosed with the virus to postpone testing until Sept. 1.

She says that will allow teachers and school staff to receive their test results sooner.

Hinshaw is recommending educators arrange testing proactively and not wait until the day before returning to school.

She notes there are about 90,000 school staff and teachers across Alberta and the province’s testing capacity would not be able to collect and process that many tests at once.

Also Wednesday, Hinshaw reported one more COVID-19 death and 121 new cases of the illness.

The most recent death was a resident at Edmonton’s Good Samaritan Southgate Care Centre, bringing the facility’s total fatalities to 29.