John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City on Monday became the first airport in the country to establish a novel coronavirus testing facility on site, open to terminal employees, airline employees, and airport workers.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a semi-autonomous bi-state government agency that operates the seaports, airports, bridges, tunnels, PATH interstate subway train, and other transportation infrastructure in the area, announced the pilot program site has the capacity to test up to 500 people a day.
The facility is being operated by XpressSpa under an agreement with JFKIAT, the private operator of Terminal 4 at JFK where the testing operation is located in the arrivals hall, and the Port Authority. The modular site has nine testing rooms and has the ability to conduct both COVID-19 testing as well as antibody testing, the Port Authority said.
"Safety and security are the Port Authority's top priorities, and opening the new XpresCheck COVID-19 pilot program builds on measures the agency has taken to protect travelers and airport workers across the region," Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said. "Today's announcement is an important addition to our commitment to providing a safe facility for workers and travelers alike."
The announcement comes as New York continues to relax restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and air travel begins to increase.
JFK, which serves 33 international and domestic airlines accommodated 21 million travelers in 2019, the Port Authority said.
The Port Authority made no mention if there were any plans to expand the testing program to the other two major airports in the area that it operates, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International.
Only ticketed passengers are admitted to the terminals, except those requiring assistance, and facial coverings are mandated for those in the terminal and related areas.
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