Delta will test all employees for coronavirus with at-home, onsite tests

Delta Air Lines CEO sees pent-up demand for travel, plans to extend ‘middle seat’ policy amid COVID pandemic

We want consumers to feel as confident in their flight safety as they do in their personal safety, Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, tells Liz Claman during an exclusive interview on ‘The Claman Countdown.’

Delta Air Lines plans to test its entire workforce for the coronavirus, the company announced Thursday.

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According to the announcement, all 75,000 Delta workers are expected to have been tested by the end of the month.

The extensive testing program “will help give even asymptomatic individuals time to recover at home and reduce exposure to others,” the announcement said.

So far, the company has tested about half of its active employees.

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Delta has also partnered with the Mayo Clinic to create a plan for re-testing. The nonprofit has also agreed to “review and assess Delta’s health and safety practices,” the announcement said.

Delta will be testing all its employees for the coronavirus by the end of the month, the company announced Thursday. A ticketing agent is pictured handing a boarding pass to a passenger in July. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

“Our customers want to know that the people caring for them while traveling are healthy,” Joanne Smith, Delta’s executive vice president and chief people officer said in a statement. “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.”

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Employees who test positive will have to quarantine at home for 10 days and employees who are exposed to people with the coronavirus will have to quarantine for 14 days from the day they were exposed, Delta said.

Those employees will all receive full pay protection, according to the company.

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According to the announcement, Delta is offering onsite coronavirus testing in cities with high numbers of employees including New York, Atlanta and Minneapolis. The airline has also expanded its at-home tests through Quest Diagnostics for all of its U.S. employees.

Delta employees will also be able to get free antibody tests at the airline’s major U.S. hubs and Quest Diagnostics locations across the country.

“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.”

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