Kelowna International Airport (YLW) announced it’s launching a COVID-19 rapid testing program starting on Tuesday, March 30.
The program is in partnership with LNG Canada, which will screen project workers leaving from YLW to Northwest Regional Airport in Terrace.
The program to help screen workers, keep the project site and the community safe.
“We are proud to support an innovative way to help keep essential workers, and the communities in which they work, safe during the pandemic,” YLW director Sam Samaddar said.
“Ensuring we keep our community connected to vital destinations in B.C. such as Terrace and Kitimat by offering COVID-19 testing will be key to supporting the recovery of air travel in the region to help drive our economy.”
The screening program will use rapid antigen detection testing (RADT), which is designed to detect specific proteins on the surface of the COVID-19 virus with lab-confirmed results within 15 to 20 minutes.
A temporary modular clinic and laboratory space have been set up at YLW’s long-term parking lot, which is currently not being used. As workers arrive at the airp9ort, they will be screened for COVID-19 through a RADT. Results will then be sent by email or text to the workers with further check-in instructions.
If a worker tests positive, they will be referred to Interior Health for more testing.
Workers who go through the screening process are still subject to travel measures, such as a temperature check and health screening questions.
In a statement, YLW said similar testing programs are already being piloted in airports in Nanaimo, Vancouver, and Alberta.
Currently, the test is only available for LNG Canada project workers.