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December 03, 2020

Jefferson Health opening COVID-19 testing center at Philadelphia International Airport

Antigen and PCR diagnostics will be available to asymptomatic travelers before departing Philly

Health News Coronavirus
PHL COVID-19 testing Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

The new coronavirus testing program will allow Philadelphia International Airport to expand its capacity to offer connections with destinations that require testing before arrival, CEO Chellie Cameron said.

Starting Friday, asymptomatic travelers on flights departing from Philadelphia International Airport will be able to receive coronavirus testing as part of an initiative alongside Jefferson Health and Ambulnz.

Travelers wishing to receive a COVID-19 test can get one at the airport’s Terminal E Departures building, the airport and health system announced in a joint statement Thursday. The building has been equipped with medically-approved air filtration and circulation.

The coronavirus testing program will offer antigen, PCR and rapid PCR tests, which range in cost from $70 to $130.

Results from antigen COVID-19 tests will be texted to passengers the same day, while those who receive a standard PCR test will get their results within 48 to 72 hours.

Medical providers from Jefferson Health will administer the tests via Rapid Reliable Testing, the COVID-19 response division of Ambulnz.

The testing program will allow the airport to expand its capacity to offer connections with destinations that require testing before arrival, airport CEO Chellie Cameron said.

"Jefferson Health and Ambulnz are ideal partners for this program, because they possess an incredible combination of world-class expertise with a focus on equity in health care access," Cameron said. 

"This testing service will enable Philadelphia to safely reconnect passengers to new destinations, supporting the recovery of the entire region."

The program will eventually scale up to take place at additional locations at the airport and will be announced once available.

"Jefferson has been here for our community throughout this crisis, and this is a next step in helping people conduct essential travel," said Dr. Stephen K. Klasko, the president of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health. 

"Innovative partnerships work. This partnership with the Philadelphia Airport, our partner Ambulnz, and our ties to Europe give us the opportunity to develop new solutions for economic recovery."

Since May, all travelers and airport staffers have been mandated to wear face masks in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. The measure will remain in place for the duration of the pandemic.

The airport resumed international flights in September for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic. It came after the CDC said that travelers from restricted countries would no longer need to go through enhanced health screenings and temperature checks at a select number of airports.

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