While concerns continue about coronavirus issues and air travel, more B.C. flights with passengers testing positive for COVID-19 have been identified.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has listed two more domestic flights, both connected to Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
One is Air Canada Flight 111, arriving in Vancouver from Toronto on July 13.
The other is Air Canada Flight 8073, departing from Vancouver to Victoria on the same day.
Affected seats or rows were not specified.
Passengers on these flights are advised to self-isolate and monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after the flight (until July 27). Anyone who develops symptoms should call 811 to arrange for testing.
B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has called for improved health protocols to be practised by airlines.
She has stated that one of the challenging aspects of contact tracing involving flights is that the flight manifests (lists of passenger information) from airlines don’t provide helpful contact information, and that a phone number and address for each passenger would help.
However, Business in Vancouver reported on July 17 that Air Canada stated that it has been collecting information for contact tracing for several months. In addition, the airline said it has received no requests for contact information from any Canadian health authority, including that of B.C., since March.
Air Canada stated that it has tried to contact Dr. Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix for several weeks for discussion, without success.
After Air Canada announced that it would be ending its physical-distancing policy for passenger seating as of July 1, Dix stated that he wanted the federal government to provide proof that these changes are safe.
Over the few weeks, numerous flights have departed from or arrived at YVR from or heading to Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, and Incheon (South Korea).
Meanwhile, on July 15, Air Canada’s chief medical officer issued a letter to the federal government to ease quarantine restrictions from countries with low COVID-19 risk by implementing evidence-based alternatives.