COVID-19 on flights: BC no longer sends exposure messages

Vancouver –

The BC Center for Disease Control no longer sends notifications of COVID-19 exposures on flights to and from the province.

A notice on the Center’s website indicates that it has ceased to publish exposure notices per. November 16.

“All passengers are required to be fully vaccinated to board an aircraft, train or cruise ship for domestic travel in Canada as well as to enter Canada from international travel,” the announcement reads.

“Everyone who travels should monitor their health before, during and after the trip. If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself and get tested.”

BC is not the first province to stop publishing exposure warnings. The federal government’s website on exposure to COVID-19 states that Alberta, Ontario and Quebec have all provided limited information on such cases to the Canadian Public Health Agency for several months.

In BC, the change does not appear to coincide with a decrease in the amount of exposure to coronavirus.

CTV News Vancouver’s monthly tracking of aircraft exposures shows that September and October saw BC’s second and third highest exposures, respectively, since the pandemic began. The all-time record was set in August.

Data for November are incomplete, but the number of messages sent does not appear to have dropped significantly, if at all.

Pr. By 16 November, there had been a total of 78 flights taking off from or landing at BC airports and had a confirmed COVID-19 case on board and had been added to the BCCDC list.

The most recent flight added to the list landed on November 13, but there is typically a delay between when an aircraft lands and when an exposure message is sent. Most of the 78 flights on the list for November landed between November 1st and 7th.

In just those seven days, there were 62 flights added to the list, a speed of just under nine a day. That would set BC off about 266 aircraft exposures this month, on a par with September and October.

Studies suggest that the risk of getting COVID-19 on an aircraft is low, although there have been some examples of this happening.

In total, the BCCDC issued exposure announcements of 2,972 flights from the start of the pandemic to 16 November.

The vast majority of them – 2,165 or 73 percent – were domestic flights. The requirement for passengers on domestic flights to be fully vaccinated came into force on 30 October.

CTV News Vancouver Flight Exposure Tracking.

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