Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian has confirmed that the Atlanta-based carrier has had 500 employees who have tested positive for the coronavirus since March, including 10 who have died.
Bastian made the revelation in a company shareholder meeting on June 18, according to Newsweek.
“We have had approximately 500 employees that have tested positive for COVID-19. The vast majority have recovered, thankfully,” Bastian said. “Unfortunately, we have lost 10 employees to the disease.”
Delta has approximately 90,000 workers worldwide, meaning its contraction rate of employees getting the virus is less than half-a-percent.
“Since initial reporting in March, Delta has seen a significant reduction in positive employee COVID-19 tests and is currently tracking at a rate five times lower than the national average,” an airline spokesperson told Newsweek.
The magazine noted that it is unknown whether the infected staff members are cabin crew or ground-level workers, or which flights they may have been operating. The majority of Delta’s employees are reported to be flight attendants, pilots and airport agents, while less than 10,000 are administrative staff, most of whom are working from home.
“We have recently announced that we are going to be testing all of our employees. In fact, we started this week in Minneapolis for both the blood serology, as to whether they have already been exposed to the disease and have antibodies, as well as the active test to see if they, indeed, are carrying the virus. And that test is being led by Mayo Clinic,” Bastian said.
“And we are also working very closely with Quest Diagnostics in that we will have all 90,000 of our employees available to be tested. And from getting a good baseline, we will be able to provide better protection for our people and then, eventually, certainly, our customers as we go forward.
Given that we are a frontline customer service business, the majority of our employees need to be at work to conduct business.”
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