COVID-19

Keep those planes clean: CDC issues new guidance for airlines amid outbreak

Marielle Segarra Mar 9, 2020
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Deep cleaning could be quite time-consuming, and potentially lead to flight delays. Laurel Chor/Getty Images
COVID-19

Keep those planes clean: CDC issues new guidance for airlines amid outbreak

Marielle Segarra Mar 9, 2020
Deep cleaning could be quite time-consuming, and potentially lead to flight delays. Laurel Chor/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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The CDC has come out with new guidance for airlines on how they should clean planes between flights.

When you walk onto an airplane, especially for a domestic flight, chances are your seat and tray table and armrest have not been disinfected recently. George Hobica, a travel columnist at the Los Angeles Times, says planes tend to get a more thorough cleaning when they’re on the ground overnight.

“But if it’s a connecting flight and lands in Chicago, and then 30 minutes later it goes on to Los Angeles, that plane is not going to be cleaned except for removing trash,” Hobica said.

Gross.

In this new guidance, the CDC says if airline staff see someone who appears to have a fever, they should do a deep clean instead: disinfect bathrooms and everything within 6 feet of the passenger.

“If they can identify the passenger,” Hobica said.

That’s a big if. Many people with this virus have no symptoms or mild ones. Also, flight attendants have other responsibilities.

Samuel Engel at the consulting firm ICF says the new guidelines could lead to delays.

“Doing that deep cleaning in between flights, for a 6 foot radius around the passenger would, in fact, be quite time-consuming,” Engel said.

And it would be expensive, too.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

It’s still the question on everyone’s minds: What’s going on with extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

The $600-a-week payments have ended, officially, as of July 31. For now, there is no additional federal pandemic unemployment assistance. House Democrats want to renew the $600 payments. Senate Republicans have proposed giving the unemployed 70% of their most recent salary by this October, when state unemployment offices have had time to reconfigure their computer systems to do those calculations. Until then, jobless workers would just get another $200. But, nothing has been agreed upon yet.

What’s the latest on evictions?

For millions of Americans, things are looking grim. Unemployment is high, and pandemic eviction moratoriums have expired in states across the country. And as many people already know, eviction is something that can haunt a person’s life for years. For instance, getting evicted can make it hard to rent again. And that can lead to spiraling poverty.

Which retailers are requiring that people wear masks when shopping? And how are they enforcing those rules?

Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, CVS, Home Depot, Costco — they all have policies that say shoppers are required to wear a mask. When an employee confronts a customer who refuses, the interaction can spin out of control, so many of these retailers are telling their workers to not enforce these mandates. But, just having them will actually get more people to wear masks.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

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