Passengers and airport workers at Newark Liberty International Airport are now able to get themselves checked for COVID-19. The new testing facility is now available in Terminal B. The Port Authority has teamed up with XpresCheck to make the coronavirus testing possible.
The testing location builds on the testing site previously opened up at JFK International Airport in New York City. A joint press release issued by the Port Authority and XpresCheck in late August, prior to making testing available to passengers, outlines the system and how it works:
PORT AUTHORITY AND XPRESCHECK ANNOUNCE NEW COVID-19 TESTING FACILITY FOR AIRPORT EMPLOYEES AT NEWARK LIBERTY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT’S TERMINAL B
New Site Builds on Pilot Program at JFK International Airport’s Terminal 4
Terminal B Can Provide 350 COVID-19 Tests Per Day for EWR Airport Workers
In an ongoing effort to enhance safety measures at its facilities and ensure that airport workers have convenient access to testing, a new XpresCheck COVID-19 testing facility has opened at Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
In its initial phase, testing is available to EWR terminal employees, airline employees, and airport workers through an expanded contract with XpresSpa, the parent company of XpresCheck. The new facility is screening up to 350 airport employees per day. Following the initial launch period, testing at EWR’s XpresCheck site will be made available to passengers.
“Across the agency, we have employed various preventive measures to ensure the safety of travelers and airport personnel and are continually exploring ways to further enhance these measures,” said Kevin O’Toole, Port Authority Chairman. “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.”
“The Port Authority has taken proactive measures to provide a safe environment for both employees and customers, including piloting a partnership with XpresCheck to bring testing right into our airport terminals,” said Rick Cotton, Port Authority Executive Director. “We look forward to seeing the results of the pilot at Newark Liberty and to further conversations with XpresCheck. We hope to see testing capability expand as widely as possible.”
XpresCheck, which began as a pilot at John F. Kennedy International Airport, was one of the first COVID-19 testing locations at a U.S. airport. The JFK site, which is managed by JFK-IAT and XpresSpa, is now open to passengers in addition to airport employees for testing.
Similar to the site in JFK’s Terminal 4, the EWR testing site is a new modular site constructed on Level 3 in Terminal B. It provides nine separate testing rooms and is capable of conducting both COVID-19 testing and antibody testing. These services will be available to all airport employees, including airline employees, contractors and workers, concessionaires and their employees, TSA officers, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) agents. Both antibody testing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing are available on-site, and the tests are sent to outside laboratories. All insurance plans are accepted outside of network and all information will remain private and HIPAA-compliant.
“Our airports are working hard to support the return of air travel to pre-COVID levels and making sure our customers and employees feel safe and confident when they come to one of our airports,” said Huntley A. Lawrence, Port Authority Aviation Director. “This testing site, which is also an example of our commitment to better serving our customers and employees, builds on our existing measures to improve the customer journey in every way possible.”
“We are thrilled to be launching in Newark Liberty International Airport, our second XpresCheck testing facility in the NY Metro area,” said Doug Satzman, XpresSpa CEO. “We are also hopeful that we can bring XpresCheck to additional U.S. airports over time, leveraging our learnings to date in setting up and administering a testing facility so that we can do our part to keep safe those who work in the airline industries as well as travelers.”
To maintain a safe environment for travelers and airport workers, the wearing of face coverings is required at all Port Authority airports. In addition, the agency has limited terminal access to ticketed passengers, employees and those with airport business. At Port Authority airports, terminal operators have increased the frequency of cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting in all areas of the terminal including touchpoints such as escalator rails, elevator buttons, seating, iPads, and payment systems.
Plexiglass shields have been positioned strategically throughout agency facilities, including (but not limited to): Airport check-in counters, TSA security checkpoints, CBP facilities, and retail, food and beverage concessions, as well as AirTrain, Welcome Centers, taxi stands and other high traffic areas. Visual cues are posted in the airport to remind everyone to maintain a safe distance. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the airport. Gloves, hand sanitizer and face coverings are available for passenger purchase at terminal shops. Open concessions have contactless take-out available.
The Port Authority reminds travelers at its airports:
- A face covering is required for any person entering all airport areas, including all associated facilities such as airport buses and the AirTrains. For more information on how to wear a face covering visit CDC.gov.
- Only ticketed passengers are allowed entry to the terminals with the exception of those accompanying passengers that require special assistance.
- Maintain proper social distance from other travelers whenever possible. Measures have been taken where possible to increase geographic spacing between patrons in queuing, waiting and dining areas. Examples include limiting seating, ticketing and check-in counters, self-service kiosks, and staffing every other counter.
- Wash hands regularly for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer provided throughout the terminal to protect yourself and reduce the spread.
- If possible, check in from home and use touchless technology for payments in retail and food and beverage concessions.