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A Kelowna International Airport screener has tested positive for COVID-19

YLW screener tests positive

A COVID-19 screener at Kelowna International Airport has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Sam Samaddar, the airport director at Kelowna International Airport, tells Castanet the individual tested positive on November 23, 2020.

"We had an employee who works at pre-board screening, who we were advised tested positive on November 23, Interior Health has taken over contact tracing and we can't speak to that piece of the protocol."

Samaddar says YLW has robust COVID-19 protocols that have included masks for some time now and the employee in question would have been screened prior to coming into contact with any passengers.

"So if there is risk for exposure it wouldn't be at the passenger interface because of the safety protocols that are in place," says Sammadar. "The information I have is that this isn't a transmission that occurred at the airport."

Sammadar says that airport employees who are dealing with passengers have to pass through the same screening protocols as passengers themselves. He points to temperature testing and mandatory mask-wearing as the two most important steps that the airport is taking to protect employees and passengers.

He said the airport is also being constantly sanitized and plexiglass has been deployed where physical distancing can't be maintained.

Sammadar is calling for a national strategy on air travel during the pandemic and he says until we have one in place, consumer confidence will continue to decline. "The provinces are reacting differently, when you're in a global business like we're in it's very difficult to transit aircraft across provincial borders without knowing what landscape you're dealing with from week to week."



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