The following is distributed by the Government of Prince Edward Island.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2021
Rapid testing to be piloted at Charlottetown Airport
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island – Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, says a new COVID-19 rapid testing pilot project at the Charlottetown Airport will help inform the province’s testing approach going forward.
“Testing travelers on arrival to PEI has been very important in controlling any transmission of the virus within the province, and along with quarantine measures has contributed greatly to our low case count. With the emergence of variants of concern there is heightened risk associated with the importation of COVID-19 into PEI,” said Dr. Morrison. “Because point of care (PoC) tests deliver screening results in a matter of minutes, the result of this pilot project at the airport will help to inform our approach to testing in the coming weeks and months.”
Many travelers arriving in PEI (ex: rotational workers) are required to get tested on day 0-1, 4-6, and 9-11 when they arrive in PEI. The pilot would allow them to receive their first test at the airport. The requirement to follow isolation protocols following travel into Prince Edward Island remains in place.
The Chief Public Health Office and Health PEI will run the pilot project for a four week period at the Charlottetown Airport, offering PoC COVID screening to arriving travelers beginning on Tuesday, February 23. Two swabs will be provided, one PoC and one lab test for confirmation. By participating in the pilot testing project, travelers arriving by air can be swabbed for their first test at the airport. Participants in the pilot study who are required to get tested again at days 4-6 and 9-11 after arrival will be able to access the additional testing at one of PEI’s drop-in testing clinics.
“The process of testing at the airport will make testing more convenient and faster for any incoming travelers,” said Charlottetown Airport CEO, Doug Newson. “We are very pleased to work with the Chief Public Health Office, Health PEI and Island EMS to provide this service to simplify testing for incoming travelers while also helping to control the importation and spread of COVID-19.”
PoC tests have been used in PEI to support targeted testing of 20 to 29 year olds and testing among members of the province’s homeless population. These rapid tests would also be used as part of an outbreak response.
Prince Edward Island has one active case of COVID-19 and has had a total of 115 positive cases of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. Information about the province’s COVID-19 cases is available online.
For the latest information about Prince Edward Island’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit: www.princeedwardisland.ca/COVID19.
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The Chief Public Health Office continues to work closely with the federal government, provincial and territorial counterparts, government departments and Health PEI to monitor the pandemic situation and prepare for all COVID-19 related impacts to the province, including health, social and economic. The public health risk of COVID-19 is continually reassessed and Islanders will be updated as new information becomes available.
Everyone is encouraged to follow routine prevention measures:
- Maintain a distance of two meters from others as much as possible
- Washing hands frequently with soap and water
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
- Stay home if you are not feeling well
- Wear a mask in closed, indoor public spaces
- Limit touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Keep your circle of contacts small
- Don’t share items like drinking glasses and water bottles
- Frequently clean surfaces like taps, doorknobs and countertops