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Coronavirus cases identified among passengers on nine Okanagan flights

Coronavirus outbreak: Ottawa restricts domestic travel
WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is cracking down on cross-country travel by imposing new restrictions on domestic travel. Abigail Bimman reports.

Saturday evening the Kelowna International Airport notified the public an air traveler who flew to Kelowna earlier this month had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, one among several cases reported since the pandemic was declared.

The most recent impacted flight was WestJet flight WS3343 from Calgary to Kelowna on March 17.

The airport and airline said passengers seated in the exit row on that flight are considered close contacts and should self-isolate for two weeks from the date of the flight.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Passenger on Vancouver-Kelowna WestJet flight tests positive for COVID-19

The airport’s notification comes as that 14-day isolation period for any affected passengers on flight WS3343, who haven’t developed symptoms, is about to expire.

The BC Centre for Disease Control said the province is contacting domestic air travelers “who were seated near a confirmed case during the flight.”

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B.C. WestJet passenger says she wasn’t directly notified of coronavirus case
B.C. WestJet passenger says she wasn’t directly notified of coronavirus case

Information from the BC Centre for Disease Control shows eight other flights into or out of the Okanagan were also carrying passengers who later tested positive for coronavirus.

Those flights took off between March 9 and March 21.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Kelowna airport still receiving flights from Seattle despite the U.S. leading the world in infections

A list of impacted domestic flights from the BC Centre for Disease Control website.
A list of impacted domestic flights from the BC Centre for Disease Control website. BC Centre for Disease Control

The BC Centre for Disease Control is telling passengers in the affected seats that they should self-isolate for 14 days from the day of the flight and watch for symptoms.

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On Saturday, the federal government announced domestic travel restrictions connected to COVID-19.

The new rules mean those with symptoms of the virus won’t be allowed to take domestic flights or board intercity passenger trains.

—With files from Hannah Jackson and David Lao