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

UPDATE: North Island Green Party nomination still to be determined

Moen says all issues should be viewed through environmental lens

COVID-19 has caused many changes for Port Hardy Fire Rescue so far this year

Port Hardy Fire Rescue’s first and second quarterly reports for 2020 were reviewed by council.

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

NDP candidate Babchuk a fixture in local politics since 2005

School trustee, city councillor and regional district chair sets sights on being North Island MLA

Sointula elementary school gets funding for new playground

Funding for the new playground comes from the provincial government’s Playground Equipment Program.

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Shawnigan Lake’s Kubica gets 25 to life for murder in California

Former Shawnigan Lake man convicted of killing woman in 1990

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Duration of Tour de Rock stop in Chemainus much shorter than usual

Four alumni riders don’t get to come for breakfast in COVID year

Most Read