Your Health and Safety During COVID-19

Your Health and Safety During COVID-19

March 15, 2020

Dear Flying Partners:

A national emergency has been declared by the President due to the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci, our nation's top infectious disease expert and director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease stated earlier today he'd like a "national lockdown" that would include telling people to stay home and out of restaurants and bars. Many schools have closed for a period of weeks, the Department of Defense has banned travel for all employees and their families, and some officials are calling for restrictions on domestic travel.

The virus is in our communities and the spread is hard to trace. Since someone infected can spread the disease before displaying any symptoms, and some who carry the symptoms may not feel sick at all, social distancing is a key tool in slowing the spread of the virus. We should continue to take all of the precautions that mitigate spread such as hand washing for 20 seconds, using hand-sanitizer with more than 60% alcohol, avoiding touching face, using personal protective equipment and disinfecting commonly touched areas. Without the proper tools to keep ourselves and passengers safe, use your position as a safety professional to ensure safety before we fly. As a union, we are working with experts to continue to assess the safety of the aviation system during this time of national emergency.

Safety first. Always. There are several health and safety items within this newsletter. Please review closely.

If you are sick, stay home. During this period of national emergency you should not be concerned with discipline, and it is our experience that airlines are following this policy. If you have come in contact with the coronavirus while working, you should follow safe procedures for self-quarantine with assurance that your pay is protected. If you are on a layover and must self-quarantine, your hotel and food should be covered by the airline. Our experience is that airlines are following these procedures when they occur. If your experience is different, please provide a first hand report with the details to our union so we can get it corrected.

Included in this newsletter are some articles with the latest news about COVID-19, more general educational articles about the virus, an op-ed about how we can support each other, and helpful resources such as what to consider when talking with children about coronavirus. These articles are also available and updated regularly on our resource page with all of the current information at

This is a crisis, but we can tackle it together. We must stay focused on good information and coordinate our advocacy for our safety, health, and financial security. It will be hard, but we will achieve a far better outcome by working together.

We will update you regularly. Please share this information with all of your Flight Attendant friends. Not everyone is subscribed, or they may miss the email with all of the news flying at them. AFA will continue to provide updates and work to ensure we are all on the same page. We are stronger and better together.

Stay safe,

Sara, Deb, Kevin
AFA International Officers


COVID-19 Overview

The virus is in 144 countries, has infected more than 153,527 and killed at least 5,733 people, as of March 15, 2020. The World Health Organization has labeled it a global pandemic. 

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Common: fever, tiredness, shortness of breath, and dry cough.
  • Some may have: aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.
  • Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. However, this makes the spread harder to contain and puts others at risk.

According to the World Health Organization, studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.

Crew Actions Following COVID-19 Exposure

If you learn that you have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, call your physician and follow their instructions. Do not go to a doctor's office unless advised to do so. 

State and Local Health Department Contact Numbers >
If in Guam, call 671-735-7143; after hours and weekends, 888-WARN (9276).

The CDC guidance to passengers who have come in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case on their flight, is to self-quarantine, contact health authorities, and monitor health for 14 days. The guidelines provide an exemption for crew. AFA does not agree with this guidance. We advise all Flight Attendants in these situations to follow the passenger CDC guidance and advise the company that you do not feel safe to fly. Self-quarantine for 14 days, contact your local health authorities, and monitor for symptoms. AFA is advising all airlines and contacting the FAA, CDC, and lawmakers. 

Interim Health Guidance from FAA and CDC (COVID-19) >

AFA EAP Resources: Coping, Finances, Support System

Contact AFA’s Employee Assistance Program: 1-800-424-2406

News Desk

Latest News

See All »

Media Releases

See All »

Latest Tweets

Union Plus Benefits

union-plus.jpgUnion Plus Benefits for AFA-CWA Members!
AFA-CWA members are automatically eligible for the following Union Plus benefits and discounts.

More benefits »