A WestJet plane takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Vancouver on Monday, May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS

WestJet starts sharing passenger information for COVID-19

B.C. again intervenes in federal jurisdiction to contain virus

The B.C. government was first to deploy its own staff to airports enforce federal COVID-19 quarantine rules for people returning from outside Canada, and now it has persuaded one airline to share passenger lists for contract tracing.

After provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry went public about the lack of passenger contact information for coronavirus contact tracing when a passenger tests positive, WestJet has agreed to share its information after a meeting with B.C. officials.

WestJet is the first airline to join B.C. restaurants, bars and other businesses that collect customer contact information so public health can follow up if there is possible exposure to the virus on a given day.

“Throughout this pandemic, our contact tracers have had challenges reaching people who were exposed to the virus while flying, because of the limited information available on traditional flight manifests,” Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement Aug. 28. “While the federal government regulates the airline industry, WestJet representatives met with us earlier this month to hear from us directly on how they could help.

“The decision they announced today – to collect names and contact information for each of their passengers at check-in and share it with public health if a COVID-19 case is identified on a flight – is something we discussed at that meeting and will help us immensely.”

RELATED: B.C. starts demanding self-isolation plans at airport

RELATED: B.C. hands border, airport checks back to Ottawa

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control maintains an online list of flights where one or more passenger has tested positive, giving the dates and where available, the seat rows adjacent to the infected person.

The most recent domestic flights listed are Flair flight 8711 from Vancouver to Edmonton on Aug. 24, Air Canada flight 305 from Calgary to Kelowna on Aug. 18, and the same day, WestJet 3387 from Calgary to Kelowna.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon volleyball standout signs with Heat

Ben Molitwenik helped Vernon Christian School Royals win back-to-back B.C. titles

Compost your own waste materials – Regional District of North Okanagan

RDNO shares tips on how to keep your yard and garden waste out of local landfills

Okanagan whisky lottery adds new twists

Winners of Okanagan Spirits’ Laird of Fintry lottery announced in four batches beginning Sept. 28

West Kelowna Warriors complete sweep of Vernon Vipers

Warriors edge Snakes 2-1 as Okanagan Cup BCHL exhibition tournament begins

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Three arrested after Keremeos shooting that severely injured one man

The victim was transported by air ambulance to a regional hospital

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

UPDATE: One dead after motorcycle collision on Highway 97 near Peachland

The collision closed Highway 97 off-and-on throughout Sunday afternoon

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read