So it’s finally time for that first flight after many long months of staying close to home. You’ve got your mask, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes set to go, and you know that Delta’s distance spacing onboard the aircraft will have the other passengers safely away from your seating area. Since everyone is required to wear a mask you’re feeling reasonably comfortable, but have you stopped to think about your upcoming interactions with airline staff at check-in, baggage drop, the boarding gate, and most importantly, the flight crew including cabin attendants and cockpit crew? Where have they been and who have they been in close proximity to?
To ensure your safety and peace of mind, Delta Air Lines and CVS Health have announced an accelerated flight crew COVID-19 testing protocol dubbed Return Ready, an innovative program that will provide flight crew testing and results in just 15 minutes. Overseen by CVS Health clinical staff, the program will be implemented at Delta crew lounges in hub cities, including at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The nasal-swab is the newest testing option to be utilized by the airline as it continues to lead the industry in COVID-19 mitigation processes.
As has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic earlier this year, a multi-faceted approach to inhibit spread of the virus remains the best defense. This includes ongoing symptom checks, testing, wearing a mask, personal distancing and hygiene, including regular hand washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. The new “normal” will be around for the foreseeable future, so being prepared for your flight is an absolute necessity.