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Covid -19 Virus

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 (COVID-19)  The virus in on the cusp, US warns that the nation will see severe disruption to Daily Life, and the virus could become pandemic. Americans warned to be prepared for an outbreak here.

 Here is a link to the CDC web site:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/related-stigma.html

Not that the CDC is its former self. When Trump took over he cut a lot of jobs and millions of dollars.

 

News Break: Trump is going on National TV tonight at   6: pm to discuss this issue.

 

 

Edited by oscar

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As of yesterday any updates on the coronavirus has to be approved and released by the Whitehouse.  This reminds me of living in South Africa with the censorship of the press. I remember the days when those yellow police vans pulled up to cafe's and confiscated the newspapers and sometimes Scope magazine.

So do your own research as its all fake news!

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Company policy for COVID -2019


The situation with Coronavirus (COVID-2019) is an important public health issue and our paramount concern is the wellbeing and safety of our employees and agents. is actively monitoring all available information related to the outbreak.
 
While there are a number of countries around the world where the virus is particularly prevalent, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to believe that the risk to the American public, domestically, is currently low. However, this situation continues to evolve. Therefore, all employees, agents, and others should familiarize themselves with the facts about the Coronavirus, including signs and symptoms of the disease and known manners of transmission.
 
Until we know more, The Company is taking a number of steps and issuing the following guidance:
 
Travel and Events

  • Effective immediately, all international business travel is temporarily suspended. Should you have international travel already planned, or are currently traveling, a member of our business travel team will contact you directly.
  • If you have visited, had a layover in, or are returning from one of the countries listed by the CDC in the last month – whether for personal or business reasons – or you have had extended close contact with an individual who has (e.g., a household/family member), you must notify your HR Business Partner prior to returning to work. You may be required to work at home for a period of time of up to two weeks due to the potential 14-day incubation period after exposure identified by the CDC.
  • Domestic business travel is not impacted at this time. However, we ask that you speak with your manager and use appropriate judgment about whether the travel plans are necessary. Please consider using the company’s video and audio-conferencing technologies as an alternative.
  • We are encouraging the postponement of any international personal travel to places identified by the CDC, and should you or a household/family member decide to travel, you must notify your HR Business Partner prior to returning to work. You may be required to work at home for a period of time of up to two weeks due to the potential 14-day incubation period after exposure identified by the CDC.
  • We realize that there are a number of company and external conferences and events booked. The company will monitor and review on an event-by-event basis. We will endeavor to message a decision about each event approximately 10 days in advance of the date of that event. Driving the decision will be, as always, the health and safety of our employees and agents.


Doing Your Part

  • If you or a family member feel you may have come in contact with an infected person or a location that has been identified where an infected person may have been present, please stay home, contact your health care provider immediately, and reach out to your HR Business Partner.  You may be required to work at home for a period of time of up to two weeks due to the potential 14-day incubation period after exposure identified by the CDC.
  • As always, please exercise proper hygiene measures, such as hand washing and using hand sanitizer.
  • Most importantly, if you feel ill with cold/flu-like symptoms, please inform your manager and do not come to the office.


Our Offices and Technology

  • All of our offices remain open for business and our employees and agents are encouraged to continue business as usual. However, because this is a developing issue, we ask that, if possible, employees and agents bring home their laptops and any other items required for work each evening in case of the need to work from home. If you’re unsure whether your responsibilities can be performed from home, please consult with your manager.  ensure your account is current and your log-in credentials are up to date.
  • Ensure your personal details are up to date, particularly your personal email and cellphone number. If this information is not up to date, please update it.


As noted, this is a rapidly evolving health issue and you are strongly encouraged to stay informed about the situation. In addition to information from the media, other resources are available on the CDC’s website. Additional updates from the company, will be shared in the days ahead, and you can find these and more on as they become available.

Thank you for your understanding and support during this evolving situation. Your health and that of your families is of the utmost importance. 

 

As we stated yesterday to all employees on March 3, the situation with Coronavirus is an important public health issue and our paramount concern is the well-being and safety of our employees and agents.

In addition to the steps we outlined in the email, and with an abundance of caution, we have decided to take additional steps related to internal and external meetings.

For the remainder of the month of March, we are going to limit holding any large company meetingswhich we are defining as 20 or more peoplewhile we monitor the situation and see how it evolves during the rest of the month. This means that any large company meetings that are already planned for March should either be canceled or postponed and if possible, held virtually. For all other meetings, please consider using teleconference or videoconference capabilities whenever possible.

In addition, employees who are scheduled to attend external meetings in March should cancel their plans, and if possible, attend these meetings virtually. This includes industry conferences, training sessions, and gatherings with third parties such as vendors and suppliers. 

We recognize this additional direction will be a disruption to business as usual activities. However, we believe it is the best course of action while we monitor this developing situation, and we ask for your close cooperation as we continue to take steps to carefully manage our overall response in support of the entire company. We will continue to share additional updates in the days ahead, as they become available.

Thank you for your understanding,

 

Edited by oscar
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More work updates on working from home..

Starting tomorrow, March 9, we are putting in place a rotational work-at-home process for employees who already have the capability to work from home. As part of this process, approximately 50 percent of employees in each area will be asked to work from home on a two-week rotation while the other half of employees in the area will come to work at the locations they do today. At the end of the first two weeks, the rotation will change so that those who have been working at home will come into their regular work location, and those who have been coming to work will work from home. Your managers will be reaching out to you starting today with specific details on how the process will be implemented in your areas, including informing you of whether you are in the first or the second rotation.

In addition to significantly reducing the concentration of our employees working in any one location, this two-week rotational approach will ensure that we have the proper technology capacity and resources to handle the increased work-at-home demand without overwhelming our systems and support.

For employees who do not have work-at-home capability today, we will be making every effort to build out those capabilities. As employees receive the proper tools and training to work at home, they will join the rotational process in their respective areas.

Finally, we recognize that there are certain roles within the company where work-at-home is realistically not an option. For those individuals, we will be introducing new flexible work arrangements that will help us manage the risk to employees at any one location. We know this is a significant change, but believe it is prudent to stay ahead of this evolving situation.

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Southwest Airlines are also giving their aircraft extra cleaning:

 

A message from our SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Ryan Green

To our valued Customers,

There is no higher priority to our entire Southwest Family than the Safety of our Customers and Employees. We are in close communication with medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), government agencies, and internal teams to stay on top of this evolving situation. According to the most recent information from the CDC, for most people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low.

We want you to feel confident when traveling with Southwest Airlines. As a result, we have enhanced some of our cleaning procedures in the interest of our Customers' and Employees' health and safety.

Aircraft Cleaning: We spend between 6-7 hours cleaning each aircraft every night, and, as of March 4, 2020, we have enhanced our overnight cleaning procedures. Typically, we use an EPA approved, hospital-grade disinfectant in the lavatories and an interior cleaner in the cabin. Now, we are expanding the use of the hospital-grade disinfectant throughout the aircraft, and it will be used in the cabin, on elements in the flight deck, and in the lavatory. This goes beyond the standard CDC guidelines.

Also, we equip each of our aircraft with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, which filters out recirculated air onboard each plane to remove airborne particles. HEPA filters are also used in hospitals to provide patients with clean air.

To learn more about our enhanced aircraft cleaning procedures, visit our blog for a detailed overview, along with a video and photos of the process.

In addition, I want to take a moment to remind Customers of our flexible policies. These policies have always been in place at Southwest Airlines and provide our Customers peace of mind every day. We never charge Customers a fee to change or cancel (though fare differences might apply) their flights. If your plans change or if you decide to postpone your travel, the funds used to pay for your flight can be applied to future travel as long as you cancel your reservation at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. The funds are valid for future travel up to one year from the original purchase date and must be used by the individual named on the ticket. Hopefully, these policies provide comfort to all of our Customers that they can book travel on Southwest as normal, and, if the circumstances change in the future, they can alter their plans without the penalty of a fee.

Rest assured, we are monitoring this developing situation closely, staying in regular contact with federal agencies, health organizations, and other experts. We've developed a host of resources to keep you informed and updated along the way, including our Travel Advisory on southwest.com and our Company blog, and we'll continue to post updates as this situation evolves.

Thank you for your patience and trust in Southwest Airlines. We are prepared to navigate through these challenging circumstances with your safety and confidence in Southwest Airlines at the forefront of everything we do.

We look forward to seeing you onboard soon,

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A lot of the tech companies are either allowing or telling staff to work from home in the Bay Area. I feel sorry for all the ancillary services (cafeterias, restaurants, Starbucks etc) , must be losing so much business, and probably cutting back staff numbers too. 
 

 

Edited by SJ272

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Saw someone complaining about United’s new change policy, here it is, basically if the new flight leaves within 25 hours of the old one (even if now with stopovers vs direct booked etc) you don’t get a refund on canceled flights. Insane https://bringmethenews.com/minnesota-lifestyle/united-tweaks-its-flight-refund-policy-and-customers-are-not-happy

most airlines apart from them seem to have been very accommodative around changes with covid19.

I have to say, since we arrived here United has been in the news fairly often and never in a good light. We mostly fly Southwest and JetBlue depending on route, and due to some route changes have started flying Alaska a bit. Generally happy with these so far though I still and will always hate southwest’s seating policy.

Edited by SJ272

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I hate United as they are one of the worst and I try not to fly with them unless they are the only alternative. They seem to only care about the customer's money and not the customer.

Fly mostly Delta and am Platinum with them so get upgrades etc. which is good. Alaska are good also - never had a bad experience with them.

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A number of colleges in affected areas or with exposure have switched or are about to switch to remote classes for the next few weeks. All the major ones in NYC (Columbia, Barnard, NYU, both campuses of Fordham, and Yeshiva) have announced this so far, as has Princeton. UW in Seattle too. A smattering of others around the country... Berkeley just announced same.

Jetblue just announced no change or cancel fees on flights booked in March and flown by 8 September. 

For those of us who have had to change kids’ flights back and forth from college as spring breaks get changed and extended/rolled into remote lessons, those of us booked on southwest have definitely had the easiest time of it judging by the college parent forums.

Edited by SJ272

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We have booked a cruize to Alaska in the first week of August.... May have to cancel? Not sure if this will be under control by then.   

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I was hoping to get a good price on a late summer Alaska cruise but the prices out then haven’t fallen the way the near term ones have. There are huge bargains for those willing and able to cruise in the next month or so.

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30 Day Ban on all flights from Europe except the UK with effect from Friday to try to stop the spread of the virus.  This does not apply to US citizens or Green Card holders.  

Edited by oscar

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Princess Cruise lines will stop all cruises for the next 60 days.  Hopefully, get new crews as they appear to be spreading the virus from ship to ship.

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13 hours ago, oscar said:

30 Day Ban on all flights from Europe except the UK with effect from Friday to try to stop the spread of the virus.  This does not apply to US citizens or Green Card holders.  

The way this was announced has led to a great deal of confusion.

Flights themselves are not banned - just foreign nationals who are traveling from the Schengen areas.  Not only Green Card holders and permanent residents are permitted to travel - even from the Schengen areas, but also family members. This includes spouses, parents and guardians of citizens and permanent residents who are unmarried and under the age of 21, and siblings -- if both the sibling and the citizen or permanent resident are under 21.

Countries where you may not have travelled to within the prior 14 days are:  Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. 

European countries not included in the ban are U.K.,
Ireland, Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Armenia, Montenegro, Belarus and Russia.
This also means that, for example, a South African (not a citizen or GC holder) who has been to one of the Schengen countries in the prior 14 dyas, and then back to the USA, is barred from entering the USA, even, for example, on the direct UA flight from SA to the USA.  

The actual proclamation is here: 
https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-certain-additional-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/


 

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All Broadway shows canceled until April 12 

Edited by oscar

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