Friday, March 20, 2020
A video message from Dr. Kris Belland, APFA Medical Advisor.
COVID-19 CQ Training and FSU
At 11:15a on March 18, the Company notified APFA that a Flight Attendant that had recently attended CQT training had tested positive for COVID-19. Upon learning the Flight Attendant tested positive, the FSU and the Flight Academy were quickly sanitized and fogged with a long-lasting and environmentally safe disinfection treatment that kills the COVID-19 virus. The Company contacted all Flight Attendants exposed in the same CQT class. All future service and line training classes have been canceled. With the FAA’s approval, AA has cancelled all CQT classes through April. All Flight Attendants scheduled to attend CQT in March or April should still complete all of their web-based training programs on time. The Training Support Desk will be managing training cancellations for the remainder of March. If you are scheduled to attend CQT in March, the Company will contact you; there is no need to call them. We understand the anxiety this announcement may have on those affected, but APFA is pleased with the decision to suspend training.
COVID-19 Response Teams and Contact Information
Effective Wednesday, March 18, Flight Service will no longer be the main point of contact for COVID-19-related issues. The Company has implemented a COVID-19 Task Force due to the volume of calls received to date.
We will be sending out additional information as we work through the Company’s newly announced COVID-19 Task Group and how this will impact our membership.
Pay Protection for Positive Test or Quarantine
Any Flight Attendant who is asymptomatic but is directed or advised by a medical professional, public health authority, other government officials, or governmental or legal order to quarantine or self-monitor based on concerns, conditions or events related to COVID-19, or who self-quarantines due to the Flight Attendant’s family member being diagnosed with COVID-19, will be withheld from service with pay (code “13”) for the duration of the evaluation, treatment, and or quarantine. Line holders will have their trips dropped and pay-protected, reserves will have reserve available days removed with no impact to reserve guarantee.
Any Flight Attendant who is diagnosed mid-sequence with COVID-19 will be withheld from service with pay (code “13”) (i.e., line holders will have their trips dropped and pay-protected, and reserves will have reserve available days removed with no impact to reserve guarantee) and will be provided a hotel, food, and other necessities needed for the duration of the evaluation, treatment, and/or quarantine. For every two (2) days off during this quarantine, the F.A. will receive one (1) day of five (5) hours’ S.A. pay.
Per diem and expenses away from base will continue day-to-day for any period of evaluation, treatment, isolation, or quarantine if the Flight Attendant is away from base for Company-related reasons at the time of quarantine.
SAFO (Safety Alert for Operators) 20003, published on March 12, provides additional guidance from the CDC and FAA for air carriers and crews. We advise you to check for further guidance from local, state, or national authorities, depending on your location. You can click here for the full CDC-FAA guidance, but here is a brief summary:
Stay in your hotel room to the maximum extent possible.
- Eat-in your hotel room using room service or delivery service.
- Limit activities in public.
- Practice social distancing – avoid crowded places, and stay 6 feet away from others.
- Travel only as a crew in private transportation to/from the airport/hotel.
- Wash your hands often for 20 seconds with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your face.
Food Options while Traveling
AA is working with each hotel to provide a list of food options (take-out/delivery service) at check-in. Because food options are continually changing, your hotel is the best source of accurate information. If the hotel does not provide this information, please ask the manager to start offering it to all inbound crew.
- We recommend packing food for your layover, as some options are disappearing very quickly due to restaurant closures, curfews, etc. If your hotel has NO food options available, please fill out a Hotel Report so we can work with AA to find proper accommodations for future crews.
- AA-contracted third-party transportation is already doing additional cleanings before/after each crew transport.
- AA is working with hotels that provide a public shuttle. AA has asked all hotels to provide a dedicated “AA crew only” or “crew only” transportation, with additional cleanings before/after each crew transport.
- If you are not comfortable with the provided transportation, seek your own transportation and expense it to AA.
- All hotels have added additional cleaning measures in guest rooms and public areas.
- Many larger cities are starting to shut down some hotels. AA has already relocated crews where there have been limited/no food options. AA is also relocating crews when a hotel shuts down. In many major cities, AA has multiple contracted hotels.
- After landing at your destination, ALWAYS check mobile CCI to verify your layover hotel to make sure there have not been any last-minute changes.
- Hotel and Travel Incident Report
During this unprecedented time, remember one thing: Protect Yourself, Your Crew, and Your Passengers First. If you wish to protect yourself wearing gloves and a mask, WEAR THEM. If during preflight checks you discover hand sanitizer, hand soap, gloves, or masks missing, IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY THE CAPTAIN. If the the aircraft has not been cleaned adequately, or emergency or protective equipment is missing, NOTIFY THE CAPTAIN IMMEDIATELY. Resolve the problem and protect yourself. During this very incredibly challenging time, it’s a much better strategy to enact change than make a point.
COVID-19 IOD Changes
Clinical Consultation will offer Telemedicine to all new IODs for Flight Attendants
- We will ensure the nurse offers either Telemedicine or brick/mortar clinic during the injury reporting process
- When the Flight Attendant wants to proceed with Telemedicine, the call will be transferred immediately to the Telemedicine provider
- If during the telemedicine consultation, the physician indicates the severity of the injury is such that they recommend an in-person examination, a referral to an actual clinic will be made at that time
- Most common injury types appropriate for Telemedicine:
- Abrasions–partial thickness
- Anxiety/stress–low acuity, without physical symptoms
- Back strains/sprains without significant limitations
- Chest strain/sprains without significant limitations
- Contact occupational dermatitis
- Contusions–without deformity
- Covid19 exposure/potential exposure
- Cuts and lacerations–minor/partial thickness
- Dirty or clean needle sticks
- Evaluation for tetanus immunization
- Face injury (to include eye [NOT TO INCLUDE EYEBALL], nose, and mouth)–Contusions and abrasions not affecting visual access
- First degree burns
- Insect/spider stings/bites
- Minor/superficial animal or human bites
- Neck strains/sprains without significant limitations
- Upper and lower extremity strains/sprains without significant limitations
- Physical Therapy – many therapy clinics now offer Tele-Rehab
- When team member feels uncomfortable or should not attend onsite therapy, they may contact their provider to set up Tele-Rehab.
- All new prescriptions will offer Tele-Rehab from the beginning as an option.
- If any issues, team member should request assistance from NCM or their examiner.
- PHL/CLT/DCA Flight Attendants can request Tele-Medicine with their current providers for injuries prior to launch date, if available.
- If no Tele-Medicine is being offered by their current medical clinic, we will work with their examiner and NCM to make the arrangements to be seen by an alternate medical clinic that does provide Telemedicine