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8 more B.C. flights identified for potential COVID-19 exposure Saturday

Beginning Wednesday evening, air passengers entering Canada from abroad will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before their departure
bc flight coronavirus
The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control continues to update its public exposures page to include flights that travelled to or from B.C. with a confirmed case of COVID-19 on board. Photo: Getty Images

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has identified another round of B.C. flights on which passengers may have been exposed to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

On Saturday, Jan. 2, the public health agency warned passengers that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 while travelling aboard the following eight flights:

  • Dec 20: United Airlines 575, Denver to Vancouver (Affected rows: 19-25)
  • Dec 22: WestJet 3100, Fort St. John to Calgary (Affected rows not reported)
  • Dec 22: WestJet 3113, Calgary to Kamloops (Affected rows not reported)
  • Dec 28: Air Canada 123, Toronto to Vancouver (Affected rows 55-61)
  • Dec 31: Flair Air 8513, Saskatoon to Vancouver (Affected rows 8-14)
  • Dec 31: Air Canada 301, Montreal to Vancouver (Affected rows 12-15)
  • Dec 31: Air Canada 107, Toronto to Vancouver (Affected rows 3-7)
  • Jan 1: Air Canada 124, Vancouver to Toronto (Affected rows 1-5)

Earlier in the day, V.I.A. shared seven recent flights the BCCDC had flagged for potential coronavirus exposure over the New Year's holiday. 

With the number of new COVID-19 cases remaining in the hundreds each day, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry implemented new orders last month instructing British Columbians to avoid any non-essential travel outside their home communities. Those orders have been extended until at least Jan. 8. 

Your domestic flight has been identified for having COVID-19 on board. What next?

The BCCDC is encouraging travellers who recently arrived in B.C. to check the public health agency's website for updates about flights identified for potential exposures. Passengers who flew aboard a domestic flight flagged for carrying a COVID-19 case are encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their flight. 

While self-monitoring for symptoms of the virus— which may include fever, cough, chills, sore throat, loss of sense of smell or taste and many more—individuals should take and record their temperature daily, and avoid taking fever-reducing medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, if possible, for the full 14 days. The average normal body temperature taken orally is about 37°C, according to the BCCDC. 

Pre and Post-Travel Considerations

The Government of Canada has issued a global travel advisory strongly encouraging Canadians to avoid all travel outside of the country until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic. "This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel," it reads. 

If you do have to travel for an essential purpose, there are several things to keep in mind before you fly. 

First, any passengers who have travelled outside of Canada are required to self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days upon their arrival.

Beginning at 9:01 p.m. PST on Wednesday, Jan. 6, Transport Canada will also require all air passengers over the age of five to present a negative COVID-19 test result before travelling to Canada from another country. 

As of Nov. 21, air travellers whose final destination is Canada are also required to submit their information electronically through ArriveCAN before boarding their flight. This includes travel and contact information, a quarantine plan (unless exempted under conditions set out in the Mandatory Isolation Order), and a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment.

Travellers must be ready to show their ArriveCAN receipt when seeking entry into Canada; a border services officer will verify that they have submitted their information digitally.

Travellers who do not submit the required information digitally before boarding their flight could be subject to enforcement action, which can range from verbal warnings to a $1,000 fine. However, exceptions will be made for those unable to submit documents electronically "due to personal circumstances, such as a disability or inadequate infrastructure."

Any returning travellers who develop symptoms following their arrival in Canada should get tested for COVID-19. Individuals who test positive are required to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days from their arrival date, or 10 days after onset of symptoms, whichever is longer.

- With files from Elana Shepert