Monday, April 6, 2020
COVID-19 Update from APFA Safety & Security, Health and IOD Departments
For those of you who were on the property before 9-11, we again find ourselves in a very unpredictable and unprecedented time. For our newer colleagues, this is undoubtedly and very scary and anxious time. We will get through the COVID-19 crisis but need to make everyone to realize the seriousness of this threat. COVID-19 is a deadly global pandemic, and it has impacted our health, and now our financial livelihood negatively.
Even before the crisis escalated, APFA worked tirelessly to persuade the Company to commit to a proactive approach rather than the current reactive response. APFA repeatedly attempted to work with the Company long before any reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States. The Company remained nonchalant, almost oblivious to the seriousness this threat posed to our membership and our Country. APFA has requested the following from the Company and Dr. Miller:
- Provisioning Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for crews
- Provisioning PPE on ALL flights (N95 or surgical masks and gloves)
- Requested specific details on the Company’s enhanced cleaning and disinfection of all aircraft
- Established protocols for onboard social distancing for crew and passenger
- Increasing the availability of hand soap and sanitizer on aircraft
- Elimination of onboard service and hot towels
- Immediate notification of flight attendants who have tested positive for COVID-19
- Thermal Scanning and wellness checks in operations (the same as SV8, IOC, and FSU)
- COVID-19 Testing at Premise Clinics Systemwide
CQT Training Cancellations and Rescheduling
Contact Training Support at 1-800-VIP-CREW, #6 (Flight Attendant Service Center), option 1 (Training Support) ask to speak with a Supervisor.
APFA concerns have been repeatedly downplayed or dismissed – the Company has told our members to “simply wash our hands and use hand sanitizer, and everything would be fine.” APFA was keenly aware (in January) the significant risk COVID-19 posed to the health and financial well being of our membership. Now in April, we are in the middle of a deadly global pandemic – everyone needs to remain vigilant in protecting themselves.
APFA and medical advisors agree wearing masks would not protect individuals FROM becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus, but it would mitigate the risk of transmission. The primary reason for wearing masks was to prevent the transmission of the virus from an asymptomatic individual carrying the virus to others. In the interim – take precautions and protect yourself.
“A significant number of individuals that are infected actually remain asymptomatic, and that may be as many as 25%. We have learned in that; in fact, they do contribute to the transmission of the virus.”
Dr. Robert Redfield
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The Labor Coalition at American Airlines (APFA, APA, CWA, IAM, and the TWU) has demanded the Company provide all employees adequate PPE, which includes Surgical or N95 masks on ALL flights. In the interim – take precautions and protect yourself.
According to the CDC, respiratory droplets are the main delivery method of how COVID-19 is transmitted. So, when you wear a face mask, you help protect others from your respiratory droplets, and when others wear face masks, they help protect you from their respiratory droplets.
Update on Protective Masks 4-4-20
At the insistence of the unions, it was announced late Saturday evening the Company had agreed to start providing face masks for frontline team members while at work should you choose to wear one. Masks will be sent to stations throughout next week with more added as we increase supply. Please look out for communications from your local leadership team for updates.
COVID-19 Notification Reporting Page
APFA launched the COVID-19 reporting page on the APFA website to accurately capture and track flight attendant exposure to the COVID-19 virus. This data will help substantiate Pandemic Leave requests.
The link can be alongside with the COVID-19 updates or directly on the Homepage. In the interim – remain vigilant – take precautions and protect yourself by filing a report.
Medical Emergencies and CPR in the era of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Will the Company provided pocket masks to adequately protect flight attendants against COVID-19? The answer is NO. APFA is still awaiting the alternative CPR procedure from Dr. Miller and the FAA. In the interim – take precautions and protect yourself.
Oxygen Masks and Life Vest Demo in the era of COVID-19
APFA and other airlines have requested this exemption directly from the FAA A4A, and the FAA still has not approved our request for a waiver. In the interim – take precautions and protect yourself.
Social Distancing Onboard and Jumpseats
The Company Double jumpseats – STILL waiting for FAA approval. APFA and many other airlines have requested this exemption from the FAA, A4A, and the FAA has still not approved our request. In the interim – take precautions and protect yourself – Utilize ASAP reporting if necessary.
Blocking Passenger Seats
The Company is “blocking” seats around certain jumpseats and exit rows, however, a gate agent may use these seats, if needed, to seat passengers. These seats will be the last to be used. Also, some passengers may still reservations these seats, before seat blocks went into place, the Company will not be proactively moving passengers or requiring them to move. Use your best judgment and take precautions to protect yourself. Utilize ASAP reporting if necessary.
Blocked Seats by Aircraft Type
State Workers’ Compensation Contacts
The COVID-19 virus continues to spread across the United States. If you get COVID-19 at work, are you eligible for workers’ compensation?
The laws vary from State to State. Your claim would be in the State where you are based, and you have the legal right to file an IOD.
Contacts and Information Linked by State:
- New York
- North Carolina
If you begin experiencing symptoms attributed to COVID-19, remain proactive and vigilant.
File an IOD by calling 1-844-777-8463
You will speak with a nurse and will be offered a Telemedicine as an option for a consultation.
We have experienced unprecedented times with the COVID19 Pandemic. Your workers’ compensation has been working to support you by updating our program to include telemedicine. In the event you must report an injury on duty, you will now have the option to see a doctor via your smartphone or computer.
Telemedicine will be an in-network facility and will not affect your salary continuance eligibility.
You still have the choice to be seen in person by an in-network provider but recognize there may be treatment delays. Our injury reporting hotline remains the same at (844) 777-8463 and will be answered by a trained registered nurse who will assess and recommend appropriate treatment options, including telemedicine. We remain committed to supporting you in these challenging times by continuing to look for ways to improve our processes. – Workers’ Compensation Team
COVID-19 and FMLA
Due to the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, If you’re needing to apply for FMLA or submit additional paperwork and are unable to do so because of limitations related to COVID-19, you may contact ARC to receive an extension. They are processing extensions on a case by case basis in consideration of turnaround times from Doctors and healthcare facilities.
We’ve seen that some Doctor’s offices are offering telemedicine appointments and giving patients the ability to complete paperwork through that avenue. You may be able to contact your Doctor’s office and request this option if in need.
Oxygen Mask Requirement
The use of the O2 mask above FL250 when a Pilot leaves his/her station has changed. Effective immediately, Pilots are no longer required to don an O2 mask on aircraft when one Pilot leaves his/her station and the aircraft is at or below FL410. The revised regulation still requires one Pilot to always wear an O2 mask whenever operating above FL410. See 14CFR,121.333(c)(2)(i)(A).
AA Flight Attendants Testing Positive for COVID-19
As of Saturday, the Company has reported approximately 100 Flight Attendants have tested positive for COVID-19. Without a doubt, that number will increase in the following days and weeks.
In Safety and Unity,
APFA Injury on Duty (IOD) Chair
APFA Health Chair
APFA Safety & Security Chair