Coronavirus: Saskatoon airport considered low-risk for COVID-19, authorities say

Heavy-duty cleaning measures are in place at high-traffic areas in the Saskatoon airport amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. Devon Latchuk / Global News

The chances of contracting COVID-19 at Saskatoon international airport are slim, but airport staff are taking precautionary measures as the outbreak spreads across the globe.

“We’re low-risk right now,” airport president Stephen Maybury told Global News. “The focus is on being preventative and being prepared.”

The airport takes direction from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Saskatchewan Health Authority, and has emergency plans in place should the threat of a COVID-19 pandemic be realized.

READ MORE: How are Canada’s biggest airlines cleaning planes amid coronavirus outbreak?

For now, busy areas including check-in kiosks and security are undergoing enhanced cleaning with a high-grade disinfectant, Maybury said.

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Travellers who move through Saskatoon may face additional screening questions about their travel history, he added.

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“Our life is airports,” he said. “There are some uncertainties that we need to deal with and we’re prepared for them.”

Visitor numbers have been relatively steady since news of the novel coronavirus broke, but Maybury said that could change.

“[It’s] way too early to be able to quantify that,” he said.

“That said, I think you’d be naive to think there won’t be an impact — some level of a ripple effect in the future. So we’ll watch that closely over the next couple of months, but nothing to report at this point.”

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The airport also hasn’t seen an elevated number of customer complaints or concerns, he added.

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He offered some simple advice to travellers: be prepared.

“That is absolutely the theme,” he said. “Contact your airlines directly. Follow the government of Canada’s travel advisories and just be prepared with respect to information and the planning of your travel.”

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