Passengers who arrived on four recent flights into Vancouver International Airport are being warned of possible COVID-19 exposure.
According to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), the affected flights are:
- June 3, Delta flight 3898 from Seattle;
- June 16, Air Canada flight 217 (formerly 8737) from Saskatoon;
- June 18, Air Canada flight 557 from Los Angeles;
- June 21, Flair flight 8102 from Toronto.
While cases of COVID-19 have been identified on those flights, the exact number of cases is not available. It’s also not known which seats on the flight – meaning which passengers who may have been exposed to the virus – were affected.
The BCCDC, which lists public exposures on its website, is asking anyone who may have been on the flights to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their flight. Notices were also issued for flights into Vancouver in May.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry urged British Columbians Thursday to stay up-to-date with the public alerts issued on BCCDC’s website, as public health teams are not always able to notify everyone who has been exposed to the virus.
In that case, a public alert is issued, which is what happened earlier this week when the notice about Brandi’s Show Lounge was put out.
"If you are travelling by plane, you need to pay attention to these public alerts,” said Henry.
“We post these on the BCCDC website, and they have several indications of when people may have been exposed to COVID-19 through travel or other events.”
The risk of exposure to COVID-19 on flights has come under the microscope in recent days, following announcements by Air Canada and WestJet that the airlines would be ending their seat-distancing policies as of July 1.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said Monday that he is concerned with new measures, and would like to hear from the federal authorities on why they’ve allowed the two airlines to end the seat-distancing policies.
“My expectation would be to hear from (the federal authorities) as to how this decision was determined at the federal level and what the evidence is that says that in this case, a reduction of physical distancing is...acceptable,” he said.