Delta Enlists Mayo Clinic’s Expertise to Enhance its CareStandard Program

Delta Air Lines today announced the deepening of its collaborative relationship with the Mayo Clinic, a worldwide leader in intensive and complex medical care, to further bolster the strength of its care and cleanliness initiative—called the ‘Delta CareStandard’.

The program’s layered protection measures are aimed at mitigating the risk of COVID-19 transmission throughout passengers’ travel journeys, from check-in to destination arrival, and the airlines’ intensified work with Maya Clinic experts will help to develop even more infection-control steps to protect both customers and employees.

The actions thus far implemented through Delta CareStandard have, at least in part, contributed to the substantial lessening in the number of employees who tested COVID-19-positive between April and May. And, since May, the proportion of Delta employees to have tested positive was well below the U.S. national average.

“As we continue adjusting our business to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission, there’s no organization in the world better equipped than the Mayo Clinic to act as Delta’s medical advisor,” said Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines.

“Mayo Clinic’s expertise in infection prevention and control, as well as our research on COVID-19, provides us with expert insight to support Delta through advisory services, helping to implement best practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., President and CEO of Mayo Clinic.

Delta plans to consult with Mayo Clinic on the following steps:

—COVID-19 Testing for Entire Delta Workforce: Delta is among the first Fortune 100 companies to initiate COVID-19 testing of its entire workforce, and views this as a crucial step in ensuring the health and safety of its employees and, by extension, customers. Mayo Clinic Laboratories has already designed Delta’s employee-testing program, participating in administering diagnostic and serology tests, and aims to determine broader trends through analysis of the findings. Based upon the results, Mayo Clinic will issue recommendations regarding modification of Delta’s existing policies and procedures, conduct workforce risk assessments and consider re-testing protocols for the continued safety of Delta’s labor force.

—Establish an Integrated Advisory Council: Co-led by Rob Kight, Delta’s Senior Vice President of Human Relations; Henry Ting, M.D., Chief Value Officer at Mayo Clinic; and William Morice II, M.D., Ph.D., President of Mayo Clinic Laboratories, this team of executives from both organizations will meet frequently to re-assess Delta’s health and safety program measures. Based on the latest research and real-world data, Mayo Clinic will also provide ongoing clinical guidance on the best ways to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

—Customer Health Consulting: The Mayo Clinic will work closely with Delta’s Customer Experience team under the guidance of its Chief Customer Experience Officer, Bill Lentsch, to continually assess the efficacy of Delta’s current customer-facing safeguards and protocols, and offer counsel on how to optimize them. Mayo Clinic will also advise the airline about the latest best practices for COVID-19 prevention among its customers, including the proper use of personal protective equipment, and offer guidance on ways that Delta can continue to provide a safe and hygienic travel experience.

“Mayo Clinic has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by developing innovations in molecular and antibody testing, therapies including convalescent plasma, and protocols and procedures to protect our staff and patients from the spread of infection,” remarked Dr. Ting. “We look forward to collaborating with Delta by using advanced analytics and ongoing testing innovations to help their passengers travel as safely as possible.”

For more information, visit delta.com.

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