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United, Delta flight attendants work even if colleagues have coronavirus: report

Flight attendants that work for at least two U.S.-based airlines are concerned about their companies’ quarantine protocols, according to a recent report. 

On Friday, Reuters reported that United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are asking flight attendants to continue working, even if their co-workers test positive for the coronavirus. Those employees are still being asked to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms, even as they continue working.

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According to its report, Reuters spoke with at least three United employees and reviewed “about a dozen” comments in an online private chat for United Airlines employees, where people complained about the policy.

One worker even told Reuters that United’s policy seems “unsafe” to employees.

United Airlines and Delta Air Lines ask their flight attendants to continue working -- while self-monitoring for symptoms -- even if their co-workers test positive for COVID-19. (iStock)

United Airlines and Delta Air Lines ask their flight attendants to continue working — while self-monitoring for symptoms — even if their co-workers test positive for COVID-19. (iStock)

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The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) also told Reuters that the union has received complaints from flight attendants about United’s quarantine protocols. The union also reportedly said it has received “some complaints” from flight attendants about Delta’s quarantine protocols, which are similar to United’s. 

The AFA did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. 

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Both United and Delta told Fox News that they are continuing to follow safety guidelines set by health agencies. 

Both airlines told Fox News that they follow the guidelines set by the CDC and other health agencies. (iStock)

Both airlines told Fox News that they follow the guidelines set by the CDC and other health agencies. (iStock)

“The health and safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority, which is why we have policies and procedures in place as part of a multi-layered approach to create a safer travel environment,” a United spokesperson said in a statement. “We adhere to the FAA’s SAFO (Safety Alert for Operators) and CDC guidance pertaining to how we prevent the spread of COVID-19 and manage active cases for crewmembers.”

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According to the FAA’s SAFO dated Dec. 10, exposure — or “close contact” — to the coronavirus means being within six feet of someone with the virus for at least 15 minutes. Anyone who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 is advised to quarantine before returning to work, the alert says. 

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United told Reuters that if any of its employees meet those criteria, they are asked to quarantine. If they don’t, they are asked to monitor themselves for symptoms and continue working.

A Delta spokesperson told Fox News that its employees have to quarantine “if they have prolonged, close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual.” 

“Nothing is more important than the safety and health of our people,” the spokesperson said.

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