McMaster HealthLabs testing international arrivals for COVID-19

The study is led by the scientists and doctors at MHL, who will work with McMaster University and University of Toronto to sample, test and analyze the data. The study is co-sponsored by Air Canada and Toronto Pearson.

The month-long research project has been designed and will be conducted by MHL in accordance with research ethics board-approved scientific protocols. Participants who volunteer will be tested on arrival—receiving their results back within 48 hours—then sent home with two additional testing kits that they are taught how to use, taking more samples after seven and fourteen days of quarantining. The data collected will remain confidential and will be anonymously aggregated for the purpose of the study.

This exciting study will be the largest of its kind and will seek to examine the number and percentage of arriving international travellers who test positive for COVID-19 during the federal government's quarantine period. The findings of the study may be useful to the Government of Canada in its decision-making to control the spread of COVID-19 and in exploring policy options. Air Canada, as the largest Canadian airline operating out of Toronto's Pearson International Airport, is providing resources and support for the study.

At this time, only passengers arriving from international destinations in Terminal 1 will be able to take part in the study. Participation is voluntary and no traveller has to take part if they do not want to. For more information, go to Air Canada's website.

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