Coronavirus outbreak leads to changes for some shippers and receivers
March 12, 2020
•Land Line Staff
Be prepared for changes in check-in procedures at some shippers and receivers related to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Recent confirmed changes in policy at facilities like the Americold warehouse in Henderson, Nev., and the Tyson facility in Cincinnati have added paperwork at the check-in point that include signing an affidavit confirming your health status. Keep in mind if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, be prepared to remain in self-quarantine for the duration of your pick-up or delivery at these facilities.
“Have or anyone you live with you been out of the country recently?”
“Have you or anyone you live with had contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or do you have a confirmed case of COVID-19?”
“Do you have or have recently had flu-like symptoms?”
Truck drivers’ reactions to how the outbreak has affected them have been mixed. Some said that not much has changed, while others are dealing with changes in protocol.
“I went to my customer I go to every day, and they had a sign up saying that they weren’t allowing nonemployees in the building at this time,” Bradley D. Coddington wrote on the Land Line Media Facebook page. “So I asked the shipping guy, ‘So what are you supposed to do if you need to use the restroom.’ He said, ‘I don’t know.’”
Donald L. Derrick posted a copy of a visitor health assessment form he was asked to fill out.
The Centers for Disease Control is providing regular updates about the virus, including a situation summary and a framework for mitigating the spread. The CDC says the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The agency recommends washing your hands frequently and thoroughly with warm water and soap, or using hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available. It also says you should avoid touching your face, even if your hands are clean. You might consider refraining from shaking hands, and even fist-bumping.
The agency recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily. For truckers, those might include the steering wheel, shifter, phone screen and door handles.
According to Newsweek as of Thursday afternoon, there are over 1,300 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States, leading to 39 deaths. Worldwide, there have been more than 127,000 people infected and about 4,700 deaths.
The World Health Organization declared the virus a pandemic on Wednesday afternoon.
Navistar CEO Troy Clarke announced the company is implementing new protocols to protect its employees and customers. Those include additional cleaning measures at offices and plants. The company also plans to curtail its participation in trade shows and events for the foreseeable future.
Several truck and trade shows, including the Mid-America Trucking Show have been canceled or postponed. Earlier this month, Mack Trucks announced it was canceling its participation in the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 construction trade show currently taking place in Las Vegas.
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration issued a news release on Thursday, March 12, regarding President Donald Trump’s address to the nation on Wednesday. Trump announced that SBA will provide small businesses impacted by the coronavirus up to $2 million in disaster assistance loans.
“The president took bold, decisive action to make our 30 million small businesses more resilient to coronavirus-related economic disruptions,” SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said. “Small businesses are vital economic engine in our community and state, and they have helped make our economy the strongest in the world. Our agency will work directly with state governors to provide targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans to small businesses that have been severely impacted by the situation.”
Staff Writer Wendy Parker, Digital Content Editor Greg Grisolano, and Senior Editor Mark Schremmer contributed to this report.