Bangor International Airport could get a COVID-19 testing kiosk in its domestic terminal amid a rise in cases from the delta variant. The City Council on Monday will vote on a lease agreement that would bring the kiosk to the airport for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
The proposal would allow travelers at the airport to receive both rapid antigen and lab-conducted PCR tests for the coronavirus on the first floor of the airport’s domestic terminal. The kiosk also could later open to city employees and members of the general public, airport spokesperson Aimee Thibodeau said Monday.
The airport is making the move due to increased risk of spread from the delta variant of the coronavirus. There is also an expectation that COVID-19 travel restrictions could eventually return, Thibodeau told the city’s airport committee meeting last Wednesday. Those restrictions, including a requirement for a negative test if returning to Maine from numerous states, were lifted nationwide after the COVID-19 vaccine became widely available in the spring.
Thibodeau said Monday that the airport is recommending all passengers check with their final destinations and airlines on travel restrictions before departing.
Northern Light Health reopened the drive-through testing site at the airport’s shuttle parking lot last week due to increased testing demand due to the delta variant.
The proposal for the testing kiosk in the airport’s terminal would authorize a six-month agreement between the city and California-based biotechnology company Curative, which will provide the labor and supplies to maintain the kiosk while paying the city a monthly lease rate of $349. The city and Curative can extend the agreement month to month after the end of the initial six-month term.
The project came about after someone from Curative reached out to the airport, Thibodeau said. The company has opened such kiosks at a number of airports, including at Denver International Airport.
Airports across the country have added testing sites since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic to allow quick testing for passengers. The Portland International Jetport has had COVID-19 testing for inbound travelers and members of the public since last November.
It is unclear what the volume of testing will be at the Bangor airport kiosk, airport director Tony Caruso told the city’s airport committee last Wednesday.