The BCCDC is warning the public about two flights to Vancouver Island airports with COVID-19 exposures within the past two weeks – one in Comox and one in Victoria.
Air Canada Jazz flight 8081 on Jan. 22 from Vancouver to Victoria was flagged as having an exposure with affected rows including 10 to 16.
WestJet flight 3315 on Jan. 24 from Calgary to Comox is the second flight with affected rows three to nine.
The BCCDC recommends passengers on a domestic flight with a COVID-19 case should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days.
According to the agency, the first flight into the Comox airport with a positive COVID-19 case on board was on Oct. 20 aboard WestJet flight 3171 from Calgary to Comox.
Passengers seated near a case of COVID-19 who were recognized after arrival will no longer be directly notified of their potential exposure. Instead, that information is posted on the BCCDC website.
Those seated in affected rows should be considered to be at higher risk due to their proximity to the case.
Erin Neely, market development manager for the Comox Valley Airport told the Record the airport has a set of internal protocols as part of their Pandemic Plan, and an outward-facing YQQ Ready plan for passengers and staff within the terminal.
The federal government has warned travellers to cancel plans as they are preparing to increase restrictions on international travel.
Let me be very clear: Nobody should be taking a vacation abroad right now. If you’ve got one planned, cancel it – and don’t book a trip for spring break. We need to hang on and hold tight for the next few months, and get through to the spring in the best shape possible.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 22, 2021
According to a report by the Canadian Press, while travel exposures account for less than two per cent of all Canada’s COVID-19 cases, the number of cases in recent travellers, and people they came into close contact with after arriving, shows continual growth in recent months.
In December, 486 cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in recent travellers, the most since March and up from 312 in November and 204 in October. Despite mandatory two-week quarantines for international travellers, there were 1,258 COVID-19 cases confirmed in people who had close contact with a recent traveller in December, up from 744 in November and 704 in October.
In the first three weeks of January, 384 travel cases and 607 traveller-contact cases were confirmed.
For more information on COVID-19 flight exposures, visit the BCCDC website at https://bit.ly/2KWjp6u.
– With files from the Canadian Press