COVID study takes off at Vancouver airport
RICHMOND — A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority said the study, which started Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area, is the first of its kind in Canada.
Calgary and Toronto airports have hosted studies to rapidly test passengers who are arriving, rather than departing. The study in B.C. involves researchers from the University of British Columbia and Providence Health Care, who are responsible for collecting the samples.
The airport authority said a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19 and those who test positive would have to undergo testing approved by Health Canada, with their flights cancelled or changed at no charge.
Dr. Don Sin, co-principal investigator and a professor at UBC’s faculty of medicine, said the study will help public health-leaders understand how people who don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 are contributing to the spread of the illness.