Delta has written to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urging it to reconsider current guidelines on isolation for fully vaccinated individuals who become infected with Covid-19.
A letter co-signed by the carrier’s CEO Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief health officer Dr Henry Ting, and the airlines medical advisor Dr Carlos Del Rio, said that data showed that the Omicron variant “has a shorter incubation and infectious period among those who are fully vaccinated against the virus”.
The letter said that the current guideline of ten days of isolation “was developed in 2020 when the pandemic was in a different phase without effective vaccines and treatments”, and proposes a new five-day isolation period from symptom onset for fully vaccinated individuals who experience a breakthrough infection.
“With the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the ten-day isolation for those who are fully vaccinated may significantly impact our workforce and operations,” said the letter.
“Similar to healthcare, police, fire, and public transportation workforces, the Omicron surge may exacerbate shortages and create significant disruptions.”
The proposals would see individuals able to end isolation “with an appropriate testing protocol”, and Delta said that it would be “interested to partner with CDC and collect empirical data”.
This week the UK government reduced the isolation period in England for those infected with Covid-19 from ten days to seven, so long as individuals are able to provide negative lateral flow results on day six and day seven.
CBS News quotes CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky as stating that the organisation is examining data regarding the easing of isolation guidelines.
“We’re actively examining those data now and doing some modeling analyses to assess that,” Walensky told CBS Mornings. “And we anticipate that we’ll have some updates soon.”