Air Canada Orders 25,000 COVID-19 Rapid Tests For Its Employees

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Air Canada said today it is finalizing an order for 25,000 COVID-19 rapid response tests for its employees. 

Created by Abbott Laboratories, the ID NOW rapid tests were approved by Health Canada yesterday and can produce results in as little as 15 minutes via nasal or throat swab, reports CBC News. 

"Air Canada continues to explore various options for testing for COVID-19 and we are finalizing an initial order from Abbott for 25,000 rapid test kits for voluntary employee testing now that it has been approved for use in Canada," said Dr. Jim Chung, Air Canada's Chief Medical Officer.

"Understanding that we will need to live alongside this virus for the short- to medium-term, we have been pursuing relationships and a layered approach as a way to keep our employees and our customers safe. We believe testing will be key to protecting employees and customers until such time as a COVID-19 vaccine is available."

Last month, Air Canada partnered with McMaster Health Labs (MHL) and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) to conduct a study of arriving international travellers at YYZ. The month-long research project sought to examine the number of arriving international travellers who test positive for COVID-19, all in the hopes of providing alternatives to the current blanket restrictions and mandatory two-week quarantine.

Air Canada said preliminary results indicate testing can help protect customers and facilitate the safe relaxation of government travel restrictions.

Since the study began at YYZ on 03SEP, MHL has conducted nearly 13,000 tests of returning international travellers who volunteered to participate. 

Of those, more than 99% have tested negative for COVID-19 with less than 1% having indicated COVID-19, according to an Air Canada news release. Of the less than 1% indicating COVID-19, more than 80% are being detected in the initial test and the rest on the Day 7 test, with none being detected by the Day 14 test.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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