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:
COPY

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

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

Give me a snapshot of the labor market in the U.S.

U.S. job openings in February increased more than expected, according to the Labor Department. Also, the economy added over 900,000 jobs in March. For all of the good jobs news recently, there are still nearly 10 million people who are out of work, and more than 4 million of them have been unemployed for six months or longer. “So we still have a very long way to go until we get a full recovery,” said Elise Gould with the Economic Policy Institute. She said the industries that have the furthest to go are the ones you’d expect: “leisure and hospitality, accommodations, food services, restaurants” and the public sector, especially in education.

What do I need to know about tax season this year?

Glad you asked! We have a whole separate FAQ section on that. Some quick hits: The deadline has been extended from April 15 to May 17 for individuals. Also, millions of people received unemployment benefits in 2020 — up to $10,200 of which will now be tax-free for those with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000. And, for those who filed before the American Rescue Plan passed, simply put, you do not need to file an amended return at the moment. Find answers to the rest of your questions here.

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