Delta partnering with CVS for employee rapid-response coronavirus testing

Delta Air Lines is expanding its employee coronavirus testing program to include a testing option that takes fewer than 15 minutes to diagnose, the company announced on Tuesday.

The airline will use CVS Health Return Ready testing, which is a rapid-response nasal swab test. It will be overseen by a CVS clinician in Delta hub crew lounges.

Delta doesn’t plan to provide the test to passengers. The rapid-response testing is part of Delta’s three-pronged testing approach, which also includes at-home and by-appointment at a hub.

Only crew members who have not been tested by alternate means are eligible to use the rapid-response testing option. Delta expects that all employees won’t get tested on a daily or even weekly basis and it will prioritize individuals at the highest risk of infection. 

Delta has not released how much it will spend on the CVS Return Ready program. The program is available to companies and colleges and CVS had more than 40 clients for it as of Aug. 5, CNBC reported.

“Just like there’s no single method to reducing the transmission of the virus, there’s no one solution to testing our global workforce that is always on the move,” Joanne Smith, Delta’s executive vice president and chief people officer, said in a press release. 

Delta is also requiring all passengers and employees to wear masks, blocking middle seats, capping the main cabin at 60 percent capacity and using HEPA filters that are changed twice as often as recommended to filter air on the aircrafts.


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