Delta Airlines has confirmed that 500 of its employees have contracted the coronavirus and 10 have died. Delta’s Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian gave the grave news to his shareholders during a phone meeting on June 18. According to a transcript of the call, Bastian said, “We have had approximately 500 employees that have tested positive for COVID-19. The vast majority have recovered, thankfully. Unfortunately, we have lost 10 employees to the disease.”
A Delta spokesperson told Newsweek that the latest results from employee testing are “inclusive of all positive cases reported to us since March out of our 90,000 employees worldwide.” they added, “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.”
“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 on the call. He continued, “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.”
The mystery is whether or not the infected employees are flight crew or ground crew. 10,000 workers make up administration jobs and they are working from home while the majority of Delta workers are flight attendants and ground crew. Bastian also said, “Given that we are a frontline customer service business, the majority of our employees need to be at work to conduct business.”
Delta will also resume flights between the U.S. and China, the company announced on Monday. You can read Newsweek’s full report here.
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Travis Earle is a veteran of the United States Navy and a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. He serves as a politics writer for Hill Reporter. Travis@HillReporter.com