The risk of exposure to COVID-19 decreases while on a Delta flight, according to a new study.
According to a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the risk of infection was less than 0.1 percent.
All customers boarding Delta Airlines must take a test at least 72 hours in advance and prove negative before departing.
For example, when the average community infection rate was at 1.1 percent, infection rates on COVID-19-tested flights were 0.05 percent. This means the community infection rate was one in 100 people while the rate on Covid-tested flights was 5 in 10,000 passengers.
Delta Chief Health Officer, Dr. Henry Ting explained how this data can be used a safe model for future reference.
“We are going to live with COVID-19 variants for some time. This real-world data – not simulation models – is what governments around the world can use as a blueprint for requiring vaccinations and testing instead of quarantines to re-open borders for international travel,”
“Air travel risk varies depending on case rates and vaccination rates at the origin and destination, masking and other factors. But the data collected from this study show that the routine use of a single molecular test within 72 hours before international travel for unvaccinated individuals significantly mitigates the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission during airline travel.”
Researchers examined data on Delta COVID-19-tested flights between Atlanta, New York’s JFK Airport and Italy’s Fiumicino International Airport.
Although there have been several records of Covid transmission with air travel, there is still limited data for testing strategies onboard.