At In-Flight Crew Connections, we value the health and well-being of our crew members. As the COVID-19 virus (aka “Coronavirus”) spreads throughout the world, we want to share guidance for staying healthy and working successfully with clients, passengers and fellow crew members. Please ensure you understand and comply with the Rights and Responsibilities at the end of this document.
CDC Guidance (as of 2/28/2020):
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
o CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
o Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (as on an aircraft).
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
o If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.
For information specific to airlines and airline crew, see https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/air/managing-sick-travelers/ncov-airlines.html
CDC also has specific guidance for travelers.
Symptoms of COVID-19:
Symptoms may appear 2 -14 days after exposure
• Shortness of breath
CDC Recommendations for Cabin Crew Members, Managing Sick Travelers, Cleaning Contaminated Areas, and Action After a Flight:
• Practice routine handwashing as noted above.
• Identify sick travelers who are exhibiting the COVID-19 symptoms noted above.
o Minimize contact between passengers and cabin crew and the sick person. If possible, separate the sick person from others (2 meters or 6 feet is ideal) and designate one crew member to serve the sick person.
o Offer a facemask, if available and if the sick person can tolerate it. If a facemask is not available or cannot be tolerated, ask the sick person to cover their mouth and nose with tissues when coughing or sneezing.
• Treat all body fluids as if they are infectious.
o Wear disposable gloves when tending to a sick traveler or touching body fluids or potentially contaminated surfaces. Remove gloves carefully to avoid contaminating yourself, then wash hands.
o When tending to a sick traveler from China who has fever, persistent cough, or difficulty breathing, use additional protective equipment in the Universal Precaution Kit: face mask, eye protection, and a gown to cover clothing.
o Properly dispose of gloves and other disposable items that came in contact with the sick person or body fluids in biohazard bag or a secured plastic bag labeled as “biohazard.”
• Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces according to airline protocol.
Specific Guidance for Trips In, Out or Within China:
If you have traveled into, out of or within China within the past 14 days, or are planning to travel in the future, you must review and comply with the SAFO 20001 alert:
IFCC Process Changes:
Until the threat of COVID-19 dissipates, IFCC will make the following process changes to help ensure our crew members health:
• IFCC will make every attempt to check trip history to ensure this aircraft has not travelled in or out of countries where the virus is particularly impactful. At this time, this includes China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea.
• If you are on an assignment and in close proximity to someone who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, IFCC will support your use of personal protective equipment including masks and gloves, and will reimburse you for these purchases with receipts. You may also purchase alcohol-based cleaner to disinfect cabin or cockpit interiors as you feel necessary.
Your Rights and Responsibilities:
• You should follow the CDC’s guidance to avoid contracting the virus.
• If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, you may not accept a trip request. Please seek medical attention immediately.
• If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, please report this to IFCC HR immediately. You will be required to submit a letter from your doctor indicating that you have recovered before being allowed to accept a client trip.
• If you have travelled to, from or within a country designated by the CDC as impacted with widespread or sustained community transmission within 14 days of a proposed assignment, you must disclose this to IFCC Crew Scheduling when presented with a trip. Currently, these countries include China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea.
• If you have had exposure to anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, please report this to IFCC HR immediately along with the date of the exposure.
• If you are on an assignment with a passenger who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, you may utilize personal protective equipment to avoid becoming contagious. Please approach the lead pilot on the trip to gain permission first.
• You must report a passenger who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 to the Pilot in Command immediately.
• You always have the choice to decline an assignment for any reason. If you are concerned about an increased risk of exposure to the virus, we will support your decision to say “no” to the trip.
If you have any questions or concerns, IFCC is always available to help. You can contact us at 704-236-3647 (extension 1 for Scheduling, or extension 3 for HR).