As an enhanced layer of COVID-19 protection being implemented through its comprehensive CareStandard program, Delta Air Lines reports that the company is well on its way to testing nearly 100 percent of its employees by the end of August. Thus far, Delta says, about half of the airline's active employees have been tested.
"Our customers want to know that the people caring for them while traveling are healthy," said Joanne Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer. "Providing COVID-19 testing for all of our people is an important action we can take to keep employees, their families and our customers safe, increasing confidence in travel while doing our part to slow and stop the spread of the virus."
Testing all 75,000 members of its workforce is a proactive step towards slowing viral spread since even asymptomatic carriers can transmit COVID-19. By identifying any infected persons early, the airline can allow them time at home to recover and reduce their exposure to others.
Delta recently opened its own onsite testing operations in cities that have large employee populations-such as Atlanta, Minneapolis and New York-and also recently began supplying an at-home testing option to all of its U.S. workers, whereby Quest Diagnostics will deliver self-collection kits right to an employee's doorstep upon request.
Delta has also engaged the experts at the Mayo Clinic to help it develop a re-testing strategy to follow this baseline first round of testing, based on tailored risk assessments.
Mayo Clinic, a leading authority in serious and complex medical care, is also partnering to review Delta's health and safety practices, from preventive measures aimed at protecting customers from infection to workforce risk assessments.
"The infection rate among our customer-facing employees is below the national average and shows that our Delta CareStandard measures are working," Smith said. "While we're encouraged by our results, we know we can't afford to let up now. Health experts agree that a multi-layered approach-one that includes testing, symptom-checking, mask-wearing, environmental cleaning and physical distancing-are the greatest inhibitors to spreading COVID-19 and will play a critical role in keeping our people safe in the weeks and months ahead."
Any Delta employees having positive COVID-19 test results must self-isolate at home for a minimum of ten days, while receiving full pay protection, to break the chain of transmission. Additionally, any workers who have been exposed to persons diagnosed with COVID-19 are required to refrain from entering the workplace for 14 days following their exposure to the infected individual, also with full pay protection in place, to wait out the virus' incubation period.
Delta is also providing its employees the ability to get tested for COVID-19 antibodies at all of its major U.S. hubs, as well as over 2,000 Quest Diagnostic locations across the country, free of charge.
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