Coronavirus: Using Alberta’s online self-assessment tool

To help reduce call volumes to 811, Alberta Health Services has launched an online self-assessment tool to help people determine whether they should be tested for COVID-19.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said on Friday that Health Link has been receiving more than 6,300 calls a day and the wait times are long. The government has doubled 811 staff and more are being trained.

“We all want to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Shandro said in a news release.

“Identifying and isolating people infected with COVID-19 is a critical way to help stop the spread. This tool will help you decide whether you need a swab to determine if you have COVID-19, without leaving your home, which can help us further contain the spread.”

The government of Alberta also made changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act on Friday, extending from five days to 14, removing the requirement for people to provide a medical note for time off, and waiving the 90-day employment eligibility period.

Confused about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is very low for Canadians, but they caution against travel to affected areas (a list can be found here). If you do travel to these places, they recommend you self-monitor to see whether you develop symptoms and if you do, to contact public health authorities.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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