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Edmonton airport staff being offered rapid COVID-19 testing through 8-week mobile lab program

Employees at the Edmonton International Airport are being offered rapid COVID-19 testing as part of an eight-week pilot program meant to streamline results for workers who are exposed to travellers.

Mobile medical services provider Numi Health Inc. partnered with Alberta Health Services to offer the pilot

“It’s a program delivering free tests to airport employees using tests we’ve secured from the Alberta government,” Peter Verburg, founder and CEO of Numi, said. “[Alberta’s government has] a stockpile of antigen tests. So we applied with Edmonton airport to access these tests and deliver them to employees.”

The voluntary rapid tests take less than 30 minutes from swab to result and are available to asymptomatic employees who work with the public, such as airline staff and employees at restaurants and shops in the terminal.

“People can return to work safely, or go to work safely and not hopefully worry too much about picking up the virus from co-workers at the airport,” Verburg said.

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Numi was created three years ago as a mobile solution for people to receive care in their homes. Verburg said the idea came as a backward-looking concept based on doctors who would previously make house calls.

“People appreciate this service, we thought they would, and since we launched last year we’ve kind of demonstrated that’s the case,” he said.

Click to play video: Calgary company offers at-home health testing and lab work

The partnership with Alberta Health Services and EIA will see Numi’s nurses and medics set up pop-up clinics at the airport and test hundreds of people each week.

“We’re essentially showing up there to test, we’ll be testing up to 500 people a week in the next eight weeks of this pilot project,” Verburg said.

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Numi was already the provider of COVID-19 antigen tests for travellers at both Edmonton and Calgary’s airports.

“Partnering with Numi gives front-line employees access to COVID-19 screening that will ultimately help keep passengers and the general public safe and reduce the spread of the virus,” Myron Keehn, vice-president of air service and business development at EIA, said.

Numi also offers at-home lab tests, vaccinations, and flu shots for Albertans. Verburg said the company hopes to run more mobile COVID-19 testing centres for other businesses in Alberta.

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