Delta CEO asks CDC to reduce quarantine times for breakthrough COVID-19 cases

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Delta CEO Ed Bastian on Tuesday asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to shorten quarantine guidelines for breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in people who are fully vaccinated.

Delta medical adviser Carlos del Rio and chief health officer Henry Ting joined Bastian in asking CDC Director Rochelle Walensky to reassess the current recommended quarantine time of 10 days when it breakthrough coronavirus cases.

They argued in their letter that these guidelines were developed during a time when effective COVID-19 vaccine and treatments were not available and thus the rules should be changed in light of medical developments.

The 10-day, isolated quarantine duration negatively impacts their employees, the Delta officials said - employees who "represent an essential workforce to enable Americans who need to travel domestically and internationally." According to the airline, 90 percent of its workforce is now fully vaccinated.

Instead of 10 days, the Delta officials suggested that fully vaccinated individuals only be made to isolate for five days after they begin to experience symptoms. They offered to partner with the CDC and collect empirical data.

This appeal from Delta comes as cases have once again begun to surge in the U.S. with the spread of the COVID-19 omicron variant, which health experts have warned is likely significantly more transmissible than previous strains.

Bastian and the Delta health officials that omicron's emergence was further reason for shortening the CDC's quarantine time, as the highly mutated strain could potentially "exacerbate shortages and create significant disruptions."

The Hill has reached out the the CDC for comment.

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