P.E.I. launching COVID-19 rapid test project at Charlottetown Airport

P.E.I. is embarking on a four-week pilot project where it will use both rapid and regular tests for COVID-19 on people arriving at Charlottetown Airport.

Self-isolation will still be required after 2 swabs taken from arriving passengers

Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, says the Island is starting a four-week pilot project to offer testing to travellers arriving at Charlottetown Airport. (CBC)

P.E.I. is embarking on a four-week pilot project where it will use both rapid and regular tests for COVID-19 on people landing at Charlottetown Airport.

"This project will allow us to assess the feasibility and sensitivity of the rapid tests for travellers arriving in P.E.I.," Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said during her regular weekly pandemic briefing Tuesday.

Each traveller will be swabbed twice, said Morrison, with one swab used for a rapid test and the other sent to the provincial laboratory for analysis in the usual manner. Travellers will not have to wait at the airport for their test results, but can go directly to their self-isolation location.

All arriving passengers will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days after getting off the Air Canada flight from Montreal, the only commercial route still serving Charlottetown.

Information gathered during the airport pilot project will be used to develop a strategy for using rapid tests to assist in earlier detection of COVID-19 cases, Morrison said.

"The process of testing at the airport will make testing more convenient and faster for any incoming travellers,"  Charlottetown Airport CEO Doug Newson said in a statement late Tuesday.

"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."

No new COVID-19 cases

There are no new cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I. as of Tuesday, Morrison said, and just one case is still considered active, down from two cases at last report.

Since the pandemic began P.E.I. has seen 115 cases with no deaths and no hospitalizations.

As of Saturday, 11,630 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been given on Prince Edward Island, and 5,163 adults had received both required doses. 

Community vaccine clinics started operating Monday for residents aged 80 and over who are living in their own homes or with relatives, with 150 people receiving shots at the Charlottetown clinic. Clinics in Montague and Summerside opened today. 

More from CBC P.E.I.


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