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Photograph: Shutterstock/Sean Pavone

JFK and Newark airports are now offering rapid testing

The new service delivers results in 15 minutes or less.

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

In another very on-brand 2020 development, the company behind those XpresSpas you may have stumbled on during an extended airport layover has expanded from impulse pedicures to a new line of business: rapid COVID testing.

At two of the New York region’s biggest airports, JFK and Newark, travelers can now stop by “XpresCheck” booths to receive rapid tests that will deliver results in just 15 minutes. 

“Cutting the time for results to 15 minutes or less changes the testing paradigm for travelers and airport employees, creating a series of benefits,” the company’s Medical Officer, Dr. Marcelo Venegas, said in a statement. “It means early detection results are known in time to take appropriate measures to prevent disease transmission. This is literally a shortcut to a safer environment for airport staff, travelers, and all of the communities in which they come in contact.”

The specific tests offered at the airports are being allowed by the FDA under an emergency use authorization. There are different types of tests available. The Rapid Nasal Swab Test, which checks for active COVID-19 virus, is the one that delivers results in 15 minutes or less. Also being offered are Polymerase Chain Reaction Tests, which checks for the virus in the body, and Blood Antibody Tests, which checks for antibodies for the virus.

The group’s CEO Doug Satzman says that the upstart brand has identified 60 large and medium hub airports in the country and are currently in talks to open additional locations. Right now, more than two dozen U.S. airports are offering rapid testing through the service, according to Travel + Leisure.

As New Yorkers start warily eyeing the holidays as times to potentially travel home, the new airport rapid testing services should provide a bit more reassurance as they consider their options. Still think you'll be staying in the city for the holidays? You'll still be able to take in a pre-recorded Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year and fit in a start-of-the-holidays trip to Bryant Park's Winter Village.

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