Delta Urges CDC To Shorten Quarantine Period

Delta Air Lines Inc. has asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC to shorten quarantine period for fully vaccinated individuals, to avoid any disruptions in airline’s operations and workforce.

In a letter to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, Delta CEO Ed Bastian, along with Chief Health Officer and the airline’s medical advisor, asked the agency to reconsider its current COVID-19 isolation guidance which was set in 2020, saying that the new Omicron variant is associated with a shorter incubation and infectious period among the fully vaccinated.

The company seeks to cut the recommended quarantine period to five days from the current ten days for fully vaccinated people who are experiencing breakthrough COVID-19 infections.

The letter comes as U.S. health officials are reportedly considering reducing the recommended 10-day quarantine period for asymptomatic, vaccinated people who test positive for Covid, specifically health care workers.

As per the current data, Omicron is 25-50% more contagious, and likely less virulent and associated with more mild disease particularly among individuals who are fully vaccinated.

Delta said its over 90% of workforce are fully vaccinated, and that its employees represent an essential workforce to enable Americans who need to travel domestically and internationally.

The CEO said, “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. Similar to healthcare, police, fire, and public transportation workforces, the Omicron surge may exacerbate shortages and create significant disruptions. Further, all airline personnel are required to mask at airports and on airplanes.”

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