Air Canada passenger flying from Montreal to Vancouver tested positive for COVID-19
MONTREAL — An Air Canada passenger travelling from Montreal to Vancouver on Valentine’s Day has tested positive for coronavirus.
The airline confirmed that it was advised Saturday by the BC Centre for Disease Control that a passenger tested positive for COVID-19. A spokesperson for the British Columbia Ministry of Health said the case was not a new one, but was a case announced on Thursday.
The passenger is B.C.’s sixth case of the virus and has been described as a woman in her 30s who spent several weeks in Iran.
The woman showed mild symptoms upon arriving in Vancouver and was tested for the virus at hospital. She has since been allowed to return home but must remain in isolation.
The spokesperson said B.C. officials had been in touch with everyone who was at risk because of the infected passenger’s itinerary.
“Air Canada is working with public health authorities and has taken all recommended measures,” Air Canada media relations spokesperson Pascale Dery wrote in an email.
Air Canada staff were informed of the incident in a memo sent to staff on Saturday. The memo states the passenger was travelling from Iran to Vancouver via Montreal.
“As per normal procedure, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control advised us in order to follow the standard contact tracing procedures that are implemented any time a passenger is identified as having tested positive for any infectious disease,” it said. “The same procedures that are followed when we have a passenger diagnosed with much more infectious diseases such as measles or tuberculosis.”
“As per their procedures, BC CDC will contact only the crew serving the relevant section of the aircraft and the passengers travelling in the three rows immediately in front and behind the infected passenger. Although there will be no follow-up with our other crew as per the BC CDC, we’ve elected to advise the entire crew, as well as the pilots of that flight.”
The memo notes that risk of transmission of coronavirus is considered low and crew members from the flight are not required to be quarantined or to stop flying, but are advised to “self-monitor for 14 days beginning on the day of the flight and report any symptoms to their local public health professionals should they develop.”
Crew members can elect to stop flying during the 14 day period should they choose to do so.