WestJet Launches COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test Study At YVR
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
Tamara Vrooman, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority.
Billy Nolen, Vice-President Safety, Security and Quality, WestJet.
The WestJet-backed COVID-19 testing study for domestic passengers at YVR launched on 27NOV.
The study, a collaboration between UBC, Providence Health Care and project sponsors WestJet and YVR, is investigating whether COVID-19 rapid testing can effectively contribute to a future testing framework for the aviation industry.
Rapid antigen tests that provide results within 15 to 20 minutes are used as part of the study, which will operate Monday to Friday during peak morning hours.
Researchers from UBC and Providence collect samples in a ready-made testing station at WestJet's domestic check-in area at YVR. Participation is open to WestJet passengers who are residents of British Columbia, between the ages of 19 and 80, and who have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days. Guests must be flying domestically, and testing is available on the day of travel only.
"We are committed to doing our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, while instilling confidence in those who need to travel. Together with WestJet, UBC and Providence, we have embarked on this new study to complement other testing initiatives we are seeing across the country," says Tamara Vrooman, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority.
Participants who test positive during the study are required to undergo Health Canada-approved testing using RT-PCR diagnostic test. For these guests, WestJet says it will rebook or cancel flights at no charge. Participants who test negative will continue their travel journey, and are still required to follow all existing COVID-19 requirements.
Once the study is completed, researchers will submit the results for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
"WestJet is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the safety of air travel through initiatives such as the WestJet-YVR COVID-19 Testing Study. We encourage eligible guests to consider taking part while contributing to findings that may influence travel and public health in the future," says Billy Nolen, Vice-President Safety, Security and Quality, WestJet.
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.