ARIZONA NEWS

COVID-19 testing facility arrives at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

Nov 23, 2020, 10:13 AM | Updated: 12:12 pm

(KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore)...

(KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore)

(KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore)

PHOENIX – COVID-19 testing has landed at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in time for holiday travel.

XpresSpa Group, a New York-based health and wellness company, on Monday unveiled a coronavirus testing program at Arizona’s largest travel hub.

The new XpresCheck facility is located in the Drugs & More store outside the security checkpoint on the third level of Terminal 4.

The site will be open all this week for Thanksgiving travel, but just Thursdays-Mondays after that. The regular hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Anybody planning to use the service should check with their insurance company about coverage. The city of Phoenix has allocated CARES Act funding to cover costs through the end of the year for city residents who don’t have the required coverage, according to a press release.

XpresSpa Group, under its XpresTest Inc. subsidiary, has similar test sites on the East Coast at New York’s JFK International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and Boston Logan International Airport.

“The infrastructure we have built with XpresCheck is laying the groundwork for much more than coronavirus testing,” Doug Satzman, XpresSpa CEO, said in the release. “We are prepared to address second and third waves of the virus, in addition to any other easily transmittable virus in the future.”

The Sky Harbor facility is expected to be able to perform 400 tests per day, according to the release, including rapid molecular testing that provides results within 15 minutes.

XpresCheck also offers PCR diagnostic testing and antibody blood testing that detects whether a person had the virus in the past and has recovered. Some insurance plans might not cover the rapid testing.

The company accepts walk-ins but recommends scheduling an appointment online.

“The city’s newest partnership with XpresCheck will offer testing for airport employees, travelers and members of the public,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said in the release. “These services will help restore a bit of normalcy and convenience to the airline industry by providing an extra layer of security and comfort.”

With coronavirus cases surging across the country, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week urged Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving and to spend the holiday only with people from within their household.

For those still planning to fly, the Sky Harbor says travelers should arrive at least two hours prior to their departure time and be sure to wear a face mask, which is required throughout the airport.

XpresSpa Group’s main business has been selling spa services and related products at facilities in more than 20 airports, mostly in the United States. All U.S. XpresSpa locations have been closed since March because of the pandemic.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Peter Samore contributed to this report.

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COVID-19 testing facility arrives at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport