Published on Friday, June 12, 2020

Delta rolling out Covid-19 testing for all employees

Delta Air Lines will launch a full companywide program to test employees for the Covid-19 virus and antibodies.

President Ed Bastion says infection rates among the workforce have been low at around five times lower than the national average as of May.

However, it will still implement a testing program that will 'evolve into a full testing protocol'.

"This is something that will be essential to begin the return to normal operations," he said.

Delta has teamed up with the Mayo Clinic and Quest Diagnostics Inc and will start testing next week.

The testing program will kick off in Minneapolis, followed by Atlanta, Detroit and New York.

"As the economy begins to recover and travel demand rises, we know that ongoing Covid testing is going to be another critical component in your safety," Bastion added.

Delta has almost 90,000 employees although the pandemic has led to many going on unpaid leave and lay-offs are likely after the summer.

"Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our colleagues and our customers," said Mike Medeiros, Delta's head of global cleanliness.

Delta said this week it plans to continue blocking the middle seat until the end of September to enable social distancing aboard flights.

That will limit the number of passengers in economy to 60% of capacity.

"We'll re-evaluate. If we gradually lift it at that point we'll see how the consumer confidence has grown," Bastian said.

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