Delta said CVS clinicians working in airline crew lounges would administer rapid-response nasal exchange tests in the hopes of detecting cases of COVID-19 among its employees. The test is designed to take less than 15 minutes to detect the virus.
Airlines, including Delta, have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Delta’s second-quarter revenue falling 88% year-over-year. Airlines don’t expect a full recovery until 2022 at the earliest, and with consumers expressing safety concerns, we are unlikely to see any substantial recovery until there is. a COVID-19 vaccine.
The decision to partner with CVS is part of Delta’s plan to increase employee and customer confidence in flight safety. Delta earlier this year announced partnerships with the Mayo Clinic and Quest diagnostics to test employees for active viruses and antibodies, but said this extra layer of testing should give a better idea of how effective the tests are and hopefully make flying safer.
“We intend to use what we learned from this round of testing to ensure that our re-testing program continues to build the confidence of our staff and consumers in traveling with Delta,” said Joanne Smith. , executive vice president of the airline. in a report.
Delta has repeatedly tried to highlight its security efforts to differentiate itself. The airline announced at the end of July that it would block seats from mid to at least the end of September and would require passengers to wear masks until at least December 31, just weeks after some of its main US rivals have been criticized by lawmakers for lifting capacity restrictions.
Earlier this spring, Delta redeployed an in-house manufacturing unit to make face shields for hospital workers battling the pandemic.