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 says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada.
The Calgary and Toronto airports have hosted studies to test passengers who are arriving, rather than departing, using the Health Canada-approved PCR test.
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 says in a statement 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, says 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.