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Rapid Antigen Screening; another tool to use against COVID

March 23rd, 2021

Employee care partners across Points West Living are now able to take a swab to ensure residents’ safety. Rapid antigen detection devices use a nasal swab to test for the COVID virus, and provide the results within minutes. The screening is particularly useful in detecting the virus in people who show no symptoms. And apparently the process is not as icky as it looks!

Persistant concern about spreading COVID

“It’s another amazing tool available to our employee care partners to help protect each other and our residents,” says PWL Lloydminster General Manager Sarah Walker. “Bringing COVID into the community is a persistent concern among a lot of our employee care partners, and this screening gives them the reassurance that they are doing everything possible to protect our residents.”

The tests are provided by Alberta Health for DSL (Designated Supportive Living) service providers like Points West Living, and most communities are offering screening once a week to employees who choose to be tested.

First volunteer reports the swab is not so bad

PWL Lloydminster and PWL Heritage House in Vegreville both did their first Rapid Antigen detection tests on March 11. At Heritage House, office administrator Jamie McKain volunteered to be the first asymptomatic care partner to get tested. “To Jamie’s surprise the swab wasn’t the uncomfortable experience she thought it would be,” says GM Alexis Bauer. “The swab consisted of five circular motions in each nostril followed by the swab being inserted into a liquid and dropped into what Jamie says ‘looks like a pregnancy test!’.”

15 minutes to know

Upon completion of the swab, it took 15 minutes to wait for the final results, which came back negative.

“Jamie was excited to be the first care partner to volunteer for the testing so she could let everyone know how much of a ‘walk in the park’ it was,” adds Alexis. “Jamie has committed to have the test every Thursday, and says she is happy to do her part to ensure that she is not a carrier of the virus, and to help keep our residents and care partners safe.”

Photo: (Clockwise from bottom left) PWL Heritage House Wellness Supervisor Yadwinder Dhillon takes nasal swabs from office administrator Jamie McKain; (top) LPN Keisha Weir takes a swab from PWL Lloydminster Wellness Supervisor Michele Lainey, and (bottom right) Keisha runs the swab through the test kit.

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