Delta Air Lines Offers Free Flights to Medical Workers Traveling to Coronavirus Hotspots

Delta Air Lines is offering free flights to medics who want to volunteer in areas in the U.S. badly affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Currently, eligible medical volunteers can book round-trip flights to Georgia, Louisiana and Michigan, for free, but Delta is considering adding California, New York and Washington to the list.

The medical volunteers will work with state and local government offices and be deployed to hospitals in areas that have been most affected by COVID-19.

The three states that Delta will fly medics to for free each have thousands of coronavirus cases. According to the Johns Hopkins University, Michigan has more than 5,400 confirmed cases, Louisiana more than 3,500 cases confirmed cases and Georgia more than 2,600 confirmed cases.

The state governments have praised Delta Air Lines for their gesture, with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp saying in a statement: "Delta is a great member of the Georgia corporate family and their willingness to go above and beyond to assist medical professionals in this difficult time should be applauded.

"We look forward to working with Delta and all Georgia businesses in coordination with the Coronavirus Task Force to take the fight to COVID-19."

Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines will fly medical volunteers to coronavirus hotspots for free. Mario Tama/Getty

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said: "Right now, we need as many medical professionals as we can get in Louisiana, and this generous support from Delta will help these heroes get here to care for our people as we fight COVID-19 in New Orleans and elsewhere in our state.

"I thank Delta for stepping up and for being a good corporate partner to help Louisiana during this trying time."

Delta is considering expanding its program to include California, which has more than 6,300 confirmed cases and Washington, which has more than 4,800 cases. New York state, which has the highest number of confirmed cases in the U.S. at more than 59,700, could also be included.

Delta says the states will determine who is eligible to volunteer and fly with the airline for free. Those interested in volunteering in Georgia should contact providers@gema.ga.gov, people who want to volunteer in Louisiana should contact the Louisiana Hospital Association at LHA-HealthPro@lhaonline.org and anyone wanting to volunteer in Michigan should go to Michigan.gov for more information.

Additionally, Delta is also dispatching idled aircraft on cargo runs, taking supplies to destinations around the world to keep supply chains open. The airline is also working with the U.S. State Department and other governments to help displaced Americans and citizens of other countries return home.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

• Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
• Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
• Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
• Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

• Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
• Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
• If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
• Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
• Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

• Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
• Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
• Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
• Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
• Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
• Do not reuse single-use masks.
• Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
• The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.

Delta Air Lines Offers Free Flights to Medical Workers Traveling to Coronavirus Hotspots | U.S.