Event Details

PHO Rounds: International Border Surveillance Study

Arriving international passengers at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport were enrolled in a prospective study of COVID-19 risk upon arrival and during quarantine in September and October 2020.  The study assessed the feasibility of enrolling arriving passengers, the acceptability and quality of self-collected specimens for detection of COVID-19 infection and the scale-up of robotic testing for time-efficient and cost-effective COVID-19 testing. Participants self-collected specimens at the airport on arrival, and weekly at home during 14 days of quarantine. Additionally, they completed questionnaires on their attitudes and experiences with the tests and quarantine. Over 16,000 participants were enrolled in the study.  The results inform strategies for combining a testing strategy with reduced quarantine time. 

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the methods used for the International Border Surveillance Study
  2. Review the key results from the study
  3. Discuss the findings in the context of the broader literature and the potential implications of the findings for considering future approaches to COVID-19 border control
  4. Summarize the strengths and limitations of the study, and potential implications for public health practice

Presenter(s): Vivek Goel and Peter Jüni

Vivek Goel is Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and served as Founding President and CEO of Public Health Ontario.

Vivek Goel is a member of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, Chair of the Expert Advisory Group on the development of a Pan-Canadian Health Data Strategy, and Scientific Advisor for CanCOVID, the national research platform for COVID-19 research.   

Peter Jüni MD, FESC, is the Director of the Applied Health Research Centre (AHRC) at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital.  He has been serving as the Scientific Director of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table since July 2020.  Since March 2020, he has worked nearly exclusively on clinical trials, observational studies, basic research and science communication related to COVID-19.



The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.


Public Health Ontario Rounds are a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). In order to receive written documentation for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, please check “Yes” beside the question “Do you require CME credits?” on the registration form.

College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Affiliate Members may count RCPSC credits toward their Mainpro+ credit requirements. All other CFPC members may claim up to 50 Certified credits per cycle for participation in RCPSC MOC Section 1 accredited activities.

PHO Rounds are also approved by the Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).

For more information or for a record of registration for other Continuing Education purposes, please contact events@oahpp.ca


Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or events@oahpp.ca.

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Updated 13 Jan 2021