Times Colonist

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.

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