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Delta partners with CDC for international traveler contact tracing

  • December 03, 2020

Delta Air Lines announced it will begin coronavirus contact tracing efforts for travelers arriving in the United States.

The airline, which announced the news Thursday in a press release, is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the launch, which is aimed at keeping “international customers informed of potential COVID-19 exposure.”

“Along with our nine global airline partners, we are working with government agencies, health officials and aviation authorities to offer safer travel at every point in your journey,” the press release stated.

Beginning Dec. 15, Delta will ask customers traveling to the U.S. from an international location to voluntarily provide information for “contact tracing and public health follow-up efforts.”

The five pieces of information needed include: The passenger’s full name, email address, address in the U.S., primary phone number and secondary phone.

spokeswoman Caitlin Shockey told USA TODAY in September.

Through August, the CDC had identified more than 10,900 people who may have come in contact with COVID-19 on a plane.

The cases fall to contact tracers, who may be hampered by incomplete, inaccurate or stale contact information for those they are trying to reach, the CDC said at the time. 

In February the CDC issued a rule that would have required airlines to get passengers’ full names and basic contact info on international flights, but it wasn’t enforced, as the airline industry protested that the plan would be onerous and costly.

Contributing: Chris Woodyard

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