Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), operator of Canada’s Toronto Pearson International Airport, has introduced a new Covid-19 programme for frontline GTAA employees.

This programme will deploy 1,000 Covid Safety Alert (CSA) devices, which will reinforce physical distancing and enable fast workplace contact tracing in the event of a confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis.

GTAA has cooperated with its IT partner Wipro for the development of these devices.

CSA is a small, clip-on device worn by staff on their belt or coat, notifying them by buzzing and flashing whenever there is a less than 2m distance from another CSA device.

The device also maintains a confidential record on encountering another device, which allows workplace contact tracing.

GTAA president and CEO Deborah Flint said: “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.

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“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 we serve.”

Wipro Canada country head vice-president Amit Majithia said: “Digital transformation is at the core of the Healthy Airport programme. The CSA Solution, leveraging Wipro’s Engineering NXT capabilities across wearables, IOT, connectivity and analytics, is an example of collaboration and re-imagination. With our deep domain and technology expertise, we are striving for continuous innovation at the GTAA.”

Toronto Pearson chief medical officer Dr Edward Wasser said: “Physical distancing and contact tracing are two important measures for preventing the spread of Covid-19. While it is accepted that only about 1% 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 reduce the spread of Covid-19 in Canada.”

These devices have been introduced under Toronto Pearson’s Healthy Airport programme this January following two successful trials.