Your luggage and boarding pass may not be the only items on your travel checklist. Now, travel through Burlington International Airport could also include a coronavirus test.
Garnet Transport Medicine has opened a site adjacent to BTV, near the cell phone lot, where travelers can receive PCR test and rapid antigen test for the cornavirus, as well as a test for seasonal flu.
The tests aren’t free: antigen tests cost $125 – $150, and PCR tests, the gold standard for coronavirus detection, is $175. Travelers are encouraged to make appointments online by scanning a QR code displayed inside the airport or by going to Garnet’s website.
Ryan Ferris, Garnet’s CEO, said that he’s working with the Vermont Department of Health and UVM Medical Center to provide results quickly. Ferris said he’s also planning to make it easier for people to be reimbursed by their health insurers.
“Currently, this is a voluntary out-of-pocket expense,” he said. “However, we will provide either invoices or claims for people that are participating in the testing for which they can submit to their insurance for reimbursement”
Director of Aviation Gene Richards says he’s still not encouraging air travel to and from BTV. However, he says a safety measure like this could be instrumental in slowing the spread of the virus, especially if travelers are coming from hot spots.
“If you just have one person that we are able to help and it stops that spread that could stop the spread to hundreds,” said Richards.
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said people are still traveling to the state, making this testing site another important layer of protection.
“We would hate to see the airport become a significant vector for virus transmission here in Chittenden county. The whole philosophy is to layer more and more protections on top of each other,” said Weinberger.
The testing is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the site will offer testing twelve hours a day next week.