Edmonton International Airport (YEG) is launching a pilot program that would produce COVID-19 test results in just seconds.
The airport has been selected as an exclusive location to host clinical trials of COVID-19 saliva tests, which yield results in less than one minute.
The facility is working with Edmonton-based LC Medical Inc. on the project – the start date of which is yet to be determined.
YEG hopes the rapid test will help ease the 14-day quarantine measures that travellers entering Canada are currently subjected to.
“We all want travel to get back to normal and a rapid COVID-19 test will accelerate this return while enhancing passenger confidence in the safety of our industry,” stated airport president and CEP Tom Ruth in a release on Thursday (Sept 24).
It’s also yet to be determined if passengers would take the rapid test before boarding their flight or after they disembark (or both).
“Confidence to travel, having comfort, right? People want comfort to travel,” said Myron Keehn, vice president of air service and commercial development.
“The airlines are calling internationally, globally for rapid, non-lab-based COVID testing as a way to provide comfort and open up the economy. And it has to be done globally, but each area has a role to play in that so we’re hopeful this is a tool in that toolbox we can use.”
Results within 1 minute
Passengers would be required to provide a saliva sample into a testing unit. A graphene surface inside the unit then bonds to the spike protein in the COVID-19 virus, the company explained.
Within one minute, the device will show either a red or green light to indicate if the person is virus-free.
These tests, notably, do not not need to be administered by a medical professional, stated GLC Medical.
“We are very excited to offer the world a graphene-enhanced rapid solution in COVID-19 virus detection,” stated Donna Mandau, president and CEO of GLC Medical, in a release.
“The opportunity to collaborate with EIA, a world-respected airport authority, to enable travel and to bring families back together is very rewarding for us.”
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