Ahead of an uptick in holiday travel expected during California’s worst coronavirus surge to date, Mineta San José International Airport announced Friday that it has launched a new coronavirus testing site for travelers departing on select airlines.
The airport’s new drive-thru coronavirus testing program is only available by appointment for travelers flying on Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. Appointments will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.
But by next week, Carbon Health, the healthcare company that is providing testing for Alaska Airlines, has plans to offer tests to passengers flying on any airline.
The announcement comes as California is reporting more new daily coronavirus cases and deaths, on average, than any other point of the pandemic, and more Californians are hospitalized with severe cases of the virus than ever before. Health officials in Santa Clara County and across the state are urging Californians to avoid travel and stay home for the holidays.
“While we look forward to the return of the record-breaking traffic we experienced just last year, we are committed to getting there safely,” John Aitken, director of aviation at Mineta San Jose International Airport, said in a statement. “Our promise is to continue working hard to maintain a safe and sanitized environment for those utilizing our facilities.”
Under the airport’s new testing program, Alaska Airlines passengers must show their flight itinerary and pay $170 for a test. Passengers can expect their results by 2 p.m. the day after they take the test, according to Carbon Health.
For Hawaiian Airlines passengers, WorkSite Labs is offering tests for those flying to Hawaii for $90. The test must be scheduled within 72 hours of the departure of the last leg of a journey — a requirement put in place to meet Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program mandates.
The drive-thru testing site for both Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines passengers has been set up in the Airport’s Taxi Staging Area at 2470 Airport Boulevard in San Jose.
“We appreciate SJC’s partnership to provide convenient COVID-19 testing options as more of our Bay Area guests plan their 2021 travel to the (Hawaiian) Islands,” Rick Hines, Alaska Airlines’ managing director of operations in California, said in a statement. Along with the new testing program, the airline has worked with the State of Hawaii to pre-clear passengers prior to their departure from San Jose, so that they can skip the line when they arrive in the Hawaiian Islands with an approved negative COVID-19 test, Hines said.
Travelers flying into Mineta San José International Airport and staying in Santa Clara County or San Francisco are subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine recently enacted by both jurisdictions.
Alaska Airlines passengers can schedule an appointment here.
Hawaiian Airlines passengers can schedule an appointment here.
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