A WestJet plane takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Vancouver on Monday, May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS

WestJet starts sharing passenger information for COVID-19

B.C. again intervenes in federal jurisdiction to contain virus

The B.C. government was first to deploy its own staff to airports enforce federal COVID-19 quarantine rules for people returning from outside Canada, and now it has persuaded one airline to share passenger lists for contract tracing.

After provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry went public about the lack of passenger contact information for coronavirus contact tracing when a passenger tests positive, WestJet has agreed to share its information after a meeting with B.C. officials.

WestJet is the first airline to join B.C. restaurants, bars and other businesses that collect customer contact information so public health can follow up if there is possible exposure to the virus on a given day.

“Throughout this pandemic, our contact tracers have had challenges reaching people who were exposed to the virus while flying, because of the limited information available on traditional flight manifests,” Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement Aug. 28. “While the federal government regulates the airline industry, WestJet representatives met with us earlier this month to hear from us directly on how they could help.

“The decision they announced today – to collect names and contact information for each of their passengers at check-in and share it with public health if a COVID-19 case is identified on a flight – is something we discussed at that meeting and will help us immensely.”

RELATED: B.C. starts demanding self-isolation plans at airport

RELATED: B.C. hands border, airport checks back to Ottawa

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control maintains an online list of flights where one or more passenger has tested positive, giving the dates and where available, the seat rows adjacent to the infected person.

The most recent domestic flights listed are Flair flight 8711 from Vancouver to Edmonton on Aug. 24, Air Canada flight 305 from Calgary to Kelowna on Aug. 18, and the same day, WestJet 3387 from Calgary to Kelowna.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New plan for industrial growth should still include western farmland, Abbotsford mayor says

Province denied city’s 2018 request to exclude lands from the Agriculture Land Reserve

Sunny skies ahead for Fraser Valley this week

Rain and smoke nowhere in the forecast after weeks of weather alerts

Submissions accepted for Anonymous Art Show

Online exhibit hosted by Abbotsford Arts Council in November

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Mission Mayor Pam Alexis to run for the NDP

Will take on Liberal Simon Gibson in the Abbotsford-Mission riding

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read