United Airlines: 3,000 employees currently have COVID-19, forcing delays and cancellations

In an open letter to staff, the CEO of United Airlines, Scott Kirby, said that 3,000 of the company’s employees are currently testing positive for COVID-19, forcing delays and cancellations at airports across the country. In the letter, Kirby said that in one day alone, one-third of their workforce at Newark Liberty International Airport called out sick.

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United Airlines was the first U.S. carrier to mandate vaccines for its employees, Reuters reported. Kirby said in his letter that the vaccine has helped greatly saying, “Prior to our vaccine requirement, tragically, more than one United employee on average per week was dying from COVID. But now we’ve gone eight straight weeks with zero COVID-related deaths among our vaccinated employees.”

In the memo, Kirby said that schedules were being reduced to make sure that they have the staffing they need, but did not specify how many flights would be canceled, CNBC reported.

The 3,000 United employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 account for more than 4% of the company’s workforce, The New York Times reported.

Last month, United said approximately 200 employees refused to comply with the vaccine mandate and were fired, Reuters reported.

On Dec. 31, United offered triple pay for pilots to pick up trips through most of January, CNBC reported.

More coronavirus pandemic coverage:

>> Coronavirus: How long between exposure to the virus and the start of symptoms?

>> What are your chances of coming into contact with someone who has COVID-19? This tool will tell you

>> How to not let coronavirus pandemic fatigue set in, battle back if it does


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