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Lack of rapid test supply from feds causing supply issues in Alberta: health minister

Last Updated Jan 13, 2022 at 12:58 pm MDT

Positive, left, and negative COVID-19 antigen rapid tests are picture in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

It’s no surprise that rapid COVID-19 tests have been hard to come by in Alberta.

Now, Alberta’s health minister says a lack of supply from the federal government is leading to delays in this province.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Jason Copping said Alberta has only received 500,000 tests this month and is still waiting on 4.3 million tests that were expected in December.

Copping says there are no firm delivery dates for the more than 16 million tests that were promised for Alberta by Health Canada.

“We’re doing everything we can to meet our commitments to Albertans given the limited supply, with a priority on health care workers and schools,” said Copping.

The health minister adds, as of Jan. 11, Alberta has shipped nearly 1.7 million rapid tests to schools across the province, which is about 40 per cent of the 4.3 million tests committed for this week.

“We’re working to confirm delivery of the remainder by the end of the week, from the federal government and/or from our own supply.”

Copping says another 4.3 million tests have been committed to Alberta schools for the week of Jan. 24, but due to supply chain issues, the province has encountered delays.

“We’re working to confirm deliveries by the day, including 4.8 million tests that we’ve directly procured that we hope to receive this week, which will go to schools and AHS (for health care workers),” Copping explained on Twitter.

“We’ll update Albertans as more information becomes available.”