In November, Albany International Airport implemented a way for travelers to track the cleanliness of high-touch areas throughout the airport. GE Aviation developed and launched an app called Wellness Trace back in June 2020 and Albany Airport began the three-month trial in November to begin tracking COVID-19 cleaning protocols. The Airport installed QR barcodes in 45 locations such as lavatories, seating areas and ticket counters. Travelers can use their smart phones to scan the QR barcode to learn how recently each location was sanitized and how frequently. Albany is the first Airport to be using GE’s technology; the app’s goal is to provide safe travel for the public and allow travelers to know they will be safe when they reach their hotel or receive food. The app also has the potential to track other health screening in the future.
In December, Albany International Airport collaborated with State University of New York to begin offering regular COVID-19 testing to its employees and travelers. On Friday, December 11, 2020, the Airport began free voluntary saliva testing of airport employees and have plans to roll out two different paid options for travelers before the end of the month ($30 to conduct the test at the airport or $60 for a take-home test kit). Subjects use an app on their phone to complete a registration and then are given swabs to run up and down against the insides of both cheeks. The kit is then mailed to the lab and results are returned in 24-48 hours. The test will determine whether genetic material gathered by the swab shows evidence of the coronavirus – a procedure created by scientists at the State University of New York’s Upstate Medical University. According to the FDA, the SUNY Upstate-developed saliva test ranks as the fifth-most-accurate COVID-19 test.