GTAA introduces COVID Safety Alert devices for Toronto Pearson Airport employees

A total of 1,000 COVID Safety Alert devices have been given to frontline Toronto Pearson employees to help to reinforce physical distancing.

COVID Safety Alert devices introduced for Toronto Pearson employees

Credit: the Greater Toronto Airports Authority

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) – operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) – has announced an innovative new COVID-19 programme involving the deployment of 1,000 COVID Safety Alert (CSA) devices to frontline GTAA employees.

These devices have been designed to help to reinforce physical distancing and rapidly enable workplace contact tracing in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. The GTAA collaborated with its IT partner, Wipro Limited, to develop these devices.

The CSA is a small, clip-on device that employees can wear on their belt, coat or lanyard. It notifies the wearer when they are less than two metres away from another CSA device by buzzing and flashing. CSA devices also record each time that they come into contact with another device in a confidential log that is used to enable workplace tracing in the event that an employee reports a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

“We continue to be a leader when it comes to Healthy Airport policies, procedures and technologies that protect our passengers and workers from COVID-19,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO of GTAA. “Together with our IT partner, Wipro, we are announcing the introduction of a new wearable technology that will help our frontline workers to be diligent in maintaining physical distancing and logging contacts during the pandemic. In addition to worker testing and airport employer COVID-19 reporting, the introduction of COVID Safety Alert devices provides another layer of safety, both for our valued employees and for the communities that we serve.” 

“Physical distancing and contact tracing are two important measures for preventing the spread of COVID-19,” says Dr. Edward Wasser, Toronto Pearson’s Chief Medical Officer. “While it is accepted that only about one per cent of COVID-19 cases in Canada result from contact with a traveller, the deployment of COVID Safety Alert devices to GTAA employees, the latest innovation in the ongoing Healthy Airport programme, adds an extra layer of safety to help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.”

The CSA devices are part of Toronto Pearson’s Healthy Airport programme and were rolled out to GTAA employees in January 2021 following two successful trials that demonstrated the value of wearable technology for ensuring physical distancing and improving the effectiveness of contact tracing.

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