Delta Air Lines To Pay $ 200 Monthly Fee to Unvaccinated Employees | WIVT

People sit under the Delta sign at Salt Lake City International Airport on July 1, 2021, in Salt Lake City. Delta Air Lines will not require employees to be vaccinated, but it will require unvaccinated workers to pay a monthly fee of $ 200. Delta said on Wednesday, August 25, 2021 that it would also require weekly testing for unvaccinated employees starting next month, although the airline says it will cover the cost of those tests. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer, file)

Delta Air Lines will charge employees on the company’s health plan $ 200 per month if they do not get the COVID-19 vaccine, a policy according to the airline’s top executive, because the average stay at the hospital for the virus is costing the airline $ 40,000.

CEO Ed Bastian said not all employees who have been hospitalized with the virus in recent weeks have not been fully immunized.

The airline said on Wednesday it would also stop extending wage protection to unvaccinated workers who contract COVID-19 on September 30 and will require unvaccinated workers to be tested weekly from September 12, although Delta will cover the cost. They will have to wear masks in all indoor environments of the company.

Delta has failed to match United Airlines, which will require employees to be vaccinated from September 27 or face layoff. However, the monthly surcharge of $ 200, which begins in November, could have the same effect.

“This supplement will be necessary to address the financial risk that the decision not to vaccinate creates for our business,” Bastian said in a note to employees.

Bastian said 75% of Delta employees are vaccinated, up from 72% in mid-July. He said the aggressiveness of the main strain of the virus “means we need to get a lot more of our people vaccinated, and as close to 100% as possible.”

The CEO of Delta referred to the COVID-19 mutation that originated in India by its medical name, B.1.617.2, rather than the more common term, the delta variant.

Newly reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States now exceed 150,000 per day, the highest level since the end of January, although the rate of increase has slowed. Southwest, Spirit and Frontier have blamed the virus for slowing customer flight bookings, and air travel to the United States remains down more than 20% from the pre-pandemic 2019 period.

Delta and United are already demanding that new recruits be vaccinated. Other major US airlines, including American and Southwest, say they encourage employees to be vaccinated but have not required it.

Delta’s requirement for weekly testing of unvaccinated employees will begin on September 12, and the requirement that unvaccinated people wear masks indoors takes effect immediately.

A growing number of companies, including Chevron Corp. and drugstore chain CVS, have announced that they will require workers to be vaccinated after this week’s Food and Drug Administration decision to fully approve the Pfizer vaccine instead of just authorization to use it. emergency.

The FDA’s decision could increase the vaccination rate in the United States, from 3.4 million vaccines per day in April to about 500,000 per day in July. It has since climbed to around 850,000 a day as concern grows over a growing number of new infections caused by the delta variant.

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