Delta Air Lines has issued a request to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to shrink quarantine guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals who experience breakthrough COVID-19 infections.
According to Reuters.com, Delta CEO Ed Bastian and chief health officer Dr. Henry Ting sent a letter to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky requesting the quarantine period for anyone who tests positive with a breakthrough COVID-19 infection be reduced to five days from the current 10.
Bastian and his team suggested that individuals could end isolation with appropriate testing, citing the impact on the carrier’s workforce. On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the White House is considering reducing the 10-day recommended quarantine period.
“With the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the 10-day isolation for those who are fully vaccinated may significantly impact our workforce and operations,” Bastian said in the letter. “Similar to healthcare, police, fire, and public transportation workforces, the Omicron surge may exacerbate shortages and create significant disruptions.”
Along with the health officials the company hired at the height of the pandemic, Bastian said the airline is trying to work with the CDC to collect empirical data and update policies that were originally developed and implemented in 2020 when the pandemic was at a different stage.
Delta revealed that more than 90 percent of its workforce was fully vaccinated and “rates are increasing daily,” and all airline personnel are required to mask at airports and on airplanes.
Last week, the CDC announced it started distributing free COVID-19 home test kits to international travelers arriving at airports in the U.S., including Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, Miami International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
The government agency said it plans to add the free tests to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and four additional unidentified international airports in the coming weeks.