Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal B has a new COVID-19 testing facility. XpresSpa Group runs the service in conjunction with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Having only been open for three days now, COVID testing remains in its initial phases, only available to airport and airline employees.
The facility is just three days old and still in the initial phase
According to an XpresSpa press release seen by Simple Flying, the testing facility, goes under the brand name XpresCheck and is currently only available to EWR terminal employees, airline employees, and airport workers through an expanded contract. In time, the service will be available to the traveling public:
“The new facility has the capacity to screen up to 350 airport employees per day. Following this initial launch period, testing at EWR’s XpresCheck site is expected to be made available to passengers.”
The EWR testing site is a new modular site constructed on Level 3 in Terminal B. Providing six separate testing rooms, the facility is capable of conducting both COVID-19 testing and antibody testing.
Both antibody testing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing are available on-site, and the tests are sent to outside laboratories. XpresSpa adds that all insurance plans are accepted outside of network, and “all information will remain private and HIPAA-compliant.”
Port Authority eager to see results of this pilot project
Kevin O’Toole, Port Authority Chairman, says that his organization has employed various preventive measures to ensure the safety of travelers and airport personnel. The Port Authority will continually explore ways to enhance these measures further. O’Toole adds:
“We remain committed to implementing additional measures and policies, as well as expanding and exploring various pilots, such as this new on-airport testing site, to further safeguard those at our facilities.”
Coming to a major US airport near you?
Rick Cotton, Port Authority Executive Director, says that his organization looks forward to seeing the results of the pilot at Newark Liberty. “[We will] further conversations with XpresCheck [and] hope to see testing capability expand as widely as possible.”
Doug Satzman, XpresSpa’s CEO, says that his company is also hopeful that it can bring XpresCheck to additional US airports over time. It will do so by leveraging its learnings to date in setting up and administering a testing facility so that it can do its part to “keep safe those who work in the airline industries as well as travelers.“
In theory, this is a great idea. However, results are not exactly instantaneous if they are being sent to outside laboratories. The turnaround time for test results is not specified by the company.
Therefore, while it may be a convenient and accessible service for travelers, it may not directly improve travel safety if passengers can’t get their results before a flight.
What do you think of XpresSpa’s initiative to set up COVID testing facilities at major airports across the United States? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.