500 Delta Air Lines Employees Test Positive For COVID-19; 10 Dead

Delta Air Lines has confirmed that 500 employees have tested positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Delta’s Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian confirmed the news during a conference call last week, according to Newsweek.

While most of the employees who tested positive were able to recover, 10 of the employees died after contracting the virus.

The airline plans to test all of its employees.

“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,” Bastian said. “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.

“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.”

There is no word on whether the employees that contracted the virus were working in the cabin or on the ground.

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The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).

The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.

While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 123,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.

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