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WestJet-YVR COVID-19 study shows rapid antigen testing is effective in screening travellers

The Vancouver Airport Authority and WestJet have released study findings today showing that rapid antigen testing is an effective, acceptable and cost-efficient method for screening travellers and contributes to safer and healthier air travel.

The findings were proven through the YVR-WestJet COVID-19 Testing Study, a research project led by the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Providence Health Care (Providence) alongside project sponsors, WestJet and the Vancouver Airport Authority.

Of 600 YVR passengers tested, all were COVID-negative

Over four months, from November 2020 through February 2021, nearly 600 departing passengers at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) were tested for COVID-19 using rapid antigen testing. All tests administered during this period were negative, leading researchers to conclude that transmissible infection in airline passengers departing from YVR is likely to be extremely low (less than one per cent). Methodology and study findings could contribute to a future testing framework for the broader travel industry.

Researchers from UBC and Providence were responsible for collecting samples in a ready-made testing station. Results gathered were further validated through PCR testing in a lab environment.

Dr. Don Sin, Co-principal Investigator and respirologist at Providence, says the findings “provide real-world evidence that rapid antigen testing is a highly effective way of screening for passengers who may be carrying the COVID virus. The results provide passengers with greater confidence of healthy air travel.” 

Read the full story on The Daily Scan