Alberta Health Link switchboard swamped with COVID-19 calls
Alberta Health Services says it has been scrambling to keep up with very high call volumes to its 811 Health Link service because of the COVID-19 outbreak. (Supplied)
CALGARY -- If you're worried about COVID-19 and its spread in Alberta, health authorities advise you to call Health Link, the province's 24-hour health information line.
However, 811 has been experiencing "extremely high call volumes," so it might be a bit hard to get through to someone.
Alberta Health Services posted on social media Tuesday that the service was overloaded with calls from residents concerned about COVID-19 and advised people to try and call between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. or between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
The agency also added it is working on training additional staff to help deal with the sheer volume of calls but said if you merely have questions, you should try Alberta Health's website first.
Anyone who has been tested for COVID-19 is asked to avoid calling Health Link for results of the testing procedure. Those patients will be contacted directly, AHS says.
Health Link provides medical advice and navigation services via telephone free of charge to all Albertans. It adopted the dedicated '811' hotline in June 2015.
There are 14 presumptive and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta and 94 total cases in Canada. One of the patients in B.C. died from the illness while eight (four in B.C. and four in Ontario) have recovered.