Curbing COVID-19 through WestJet’s employee screening program

WestJet
By WestJet | | 3 min read

In an effort to reduce the risk of asymptomatic COVID-19 spread, WestJet has launched a voluntary rapid antigen employee screening program for operationally critical WestJetters working on campus or on shift at the Calgary International Airport.

WestJetters participating in the program are screened upon arrival for work, a minimum of twice-weekly, with a quick five minute shallow nasal swab. Results are analyzed in approximately 15 minutes. 

“We wanted to offer our operationally critical WestJetters additional peace of mind when coming to work through this program,” said Dr. Tammy McKnight, WestJet’s Chief Medical Officer. “Screening WestJetters helps us curb any unintentional spread of COVID-19 and further supports our airline’s recovery strategy and our safety above all culture.”

More than 76,000 rapid screening kits were made available to WestJet through the airline’s partnership with the Government of Alberta. The tests are self-administered under supervision by a trained WestJetter. The entire experience from anterior nasal swab to result, is completed in 20 minutes or less.

“We are grateful that more than one million rapid-testing kits have been deployed across Alberta,” continued Dr. McKnight. “These screening kits are an important component to keeping essential travel and business activities open as the vaccine rollout continues across our country.”

In the instance an employee tests positive through the screening program, they are required to self-isolate and will be required to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm if they have COVID-19 or not.

WestJet’s employee screening program will be in place for the foreseeable future and additional locations are being evaluated.

Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO, self administering his nasal swab as part of WestJet screening program. Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO, self administering his nasal swab as part of WestJet screening program.