Memphis International Airport begins assurance COVID-19 to keep vaccines, holiday gifts moving

"Pod Testing" used to screen airport workers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The hundreds of workers that keep wheels up at the Memphis International Airport are playing a critical role in three major areas this month: holiday travel, holiday gifts, and the shipment of COVID-19 vaccines.

The Memphis Shelby County Airport Authority has started a new, mandatory COVID-19 assurance testing program to make sure operations run smoothly.

“You’ve now got double the reason to make sure we keep the airport open,” Scott Brockman, President and CEO Memphis Shelby County Airport Authority, said.

The pod testing program began three weeks ago.

Every one of around 200 airport authority employees who work on-site must perform a self-administered test for COVID-19 once a week, helping to reduce or eliminate an asymptomatic spread.

“The challenges of possible COVID infections within our team really could have a serious impact on our ability to serve,” Brockman said.

Brockman is encouraging every tenant at the airport to join the program.

“I would like nothing better than to tout that every employee that’s on-site at the airport is participating in an assurance testing program,” Brockman said.

Brockman would also like to eventually expand the pod testing program to the public, offering travelers a certificate with the ability to avoid statewide quarantine mandates.

“If you have that pre-travel certificate that says I was tested within the last 48 hours and my test was negative, you now don’t have to quarantine when you get there,” Brockman said.

Each test costs only 15 dollars. Brockman has become a huge proponent for assurance testing.

“Employers need to do assurance testing,” he said.

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