Philadelphia International Airport announces new COVID-19 testing site

Maggie Kent Image
Friday, December 4, 2020
Optional COVID testing begins at Philly airport
Travelers flying out of Philadelphia International Airport can be screened for COVID-19 before boarding.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Passengers flying out of Philadelphia International Airport can now get a COVID-19 test before departure.

The COVID-19 testing site at Terminal E departures is for passengers with plane tickets only.

The voluntary tests will be administered by Jefferson University Hospital employees. There are three options - the PCR, rapid PCR and antigen.

"It's a nasal swab. A little deeper than a regular nasal swab, but it's not very uncomfortable. It's a few seconds," says Dr. Stephen Klask, president of Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health.

The price ranges from $70-$130. The quicker the result, the more costly the test.

"Theoretically, you'd be able to take that and by the time you landed have the result," Klasko said of the rapid test.

"The others could take up to 48 to 72 hours."

People traveling from PHL can now pay to get a COVID-19 test before takeoff.

Passengers who want to take advantage of this voluntary test will make an appointment and can park for free in Terminal E to get a coronavirus test.

Certain island nations in the Caribbean and Hawaii, for example, require proof of a negative coronavirus test result.

"This is just another choice that people will have if they want to travel," says Chellie Cameron, CEO Philadelphia Division of Aviation.

If the result is positive, local health departments and the CDC will take action.

"They will be notified of results from Jefferson and then they can take appropriate action to put someone on a no-boarding list," said Cameron.

The airport coronavirus testing site is open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.