How an airport nail salon became the front line of U.S. COVID surveillance

As the pandemic engulfed the earth in March 2020, no just one was thinking a lot about getting a manicure. So XpresSpa Team, an airport chain that delivers mani-pedis and massages to vacationers, shut all 50 of its areas. To survive the future two decades, it would have to pivot. It turned to the most clear upcoming market place: COVID-19 screening.

By a partnership with the Centers for Sickness Command and Avoidance (CDC) and artificial biology firm Ginkgo Bioworks, XpresSpa introduced a surveillance operation to hunt for new and rising COVID-19 variants among international vacationers. Over the past eight months, the trio has tested tens of countless numbers of passengers arriving from extra than 15 international locations all over the world. Despite policies that need vacationers to develop a damaging COVID-19 examination result in buy to enter the U.S., the collaboration routinely finds both of those good scenarios and new mutations.

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