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    Drive-thru sites have been opening around the United States to make it quicker and safer to test people for the new coronavirus. But much like the rest of the U.S. response to the pandemic, the system has been marked by inconsistencies, delays, and shortages. Many people who have symptoms and a doctor’s order have waited hours or days for a test. More than a week after President Donald Trump promised that states and retail stores such as Walmart and CVS would open drive-thru test centers, few sites are up and running, and they're not yet open to the general public. Some states are leaving it to the private sector to open test locations; others are coordinating the effort through state health departments. Patients have complained that they had to jump through cumbersome bureaucratic hoops and wait days to get tested, then wait even longer for a result. Testing centers opened in some places only to be shut down shortly afterward because of shortages of supplies and staff. And while the drive-thru test centers that have opened are generally orderly, there have been long lines at some. The slow ramp-up of the COVID-19 testing and the spotty nature now of the system makes it hard for public health officials to track the spread of the disease and bring it under control. 'We need to be testing more broadly to fully understand the scope of the public health situation we are facing,' said Joseph Wendelken, a spokesman for the Rhode Island Department of Health. Dr. Brett Giroir, the federal health official tasked with overseeing testing, said at a White House briefing Saturday that so far about 195,000 people have been tested in the U.S. That figure does not include some people who have been tested in private labs. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three weeks to six weeks to recover. Drive-thru test sites have popped up in locations in more than 30 states — in state parks and parking lots, next to medical centers and universities, at the Mississippi state fairgrounds and near where the Jacksonville Jaguars play. The governor of Maryland this past week ordered vehicle emission inspection programs across the state to stop so that the locations can be used as drive-thru centers to test for the virus. But as of Friday there were no open drive-thru tests available in Maryland's inspection centers. The Utah health department said it isn't in charge of the sites and isn't tracking them. North Carolina's health director said the state is leaving testing to the private sector and declined to say how many sites there are. By contrast, in Rhode Island, health care organizations are running the sites in partnership with the state health department. In Houston on Thursday, cars lined up for more than a mile outside a hospital when the city’s first drive-thru testing site opened. U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said they administered fewer than 200 tests in the first six hours. Elsewhere, at several sites visited by Associated Press journalists, the scenes were well-controlled and sometimes downright quiet. Dozens of people waiting in cars at a center in Homestead, Florida, on Wednesday, waited their turn to speak with a screener wearing a gown and mask and carrying a clipboard. Some were apparently turned away. Others were waved through, had their temperatures checked and were swabbed for samples. But supply shortages have shut down drive-thrus in several states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, North Carolina, and Utah. One Las Vegas site was closed because it didn't have enough workers. New York state opened several centers to great fanfare on Tuesday. By Friday, however, New York City's health department issued an alert saying only people who require hospitalization should be tested, due to shortages of protective equipment such as face masks. Drive-thru sites in New York State remain open, but only to people who meet certain criteria. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said he has begged the federal government for additional test kits and supplies, but the state received a notice Thursday that all of its requests for drive-thru testing pods and testing kits “are on an indefinite backlog, without any estimate of a timeline for delivery.” “This is our unfortunate reality Nevada. It’s up to us,” he said. The sites themselves are dotted with tents and traffic cones. The most notable features are medical personnel wearing masks, gloves and protective smocks or other clothing. They take nose and throat swabs from people sitting in their cars or help people go inside for the test. Some states have as few as one drive-thru site. Montana’s sole site is in Billings, the state’s largest city. Others have a few dozen. Security guards were reported at many sites, but a survey of states by the AP did not uncover any security problems. In Rhode Island, the National Guard have been on hand to set up the state’s three drive-thru sites and even to swab patients. The vast network of drive-thru sites at retail chains that Trump said more than a week ago was coming has so far failed to materialize. CVS has opened one site in Massachusetts, which it calls a “model for testing.” Walmart launched two sites Sunday, and Walgreens said it's launching one, all three in Illinois. Only health care workers and first responders are allowed, and Walmart said a maximum 150 tests per day could be performed at its federal sites. The patchwork of approaches has caused confusion for patients. Caroline Mauldin was ordered to get a test by her doctor in Charleston, South Carolina, on Tuesday, after experiencing aches and chills for several days. To get an appointment at a drive-thru site at a medical center, she had to fill out a lengthy online questionnaire and she spent two days calling a number that rolled to voicemail and wouldn't take messages. She resorted to tweeting at the hospital several times just to move things forward. Finally, on Thursday, she got an appointment for Monday. And she was told the results would not come back until four to five days after that. The visit will cost her $25, she said. Complicating matters, she doesn’t have a car and has to borrow one from a friend. “We have a lot of elderly, low-income people here who don't have access to the internet and who don't have access to transportation. And given that they're the highest risk population, how are we getting tests to them?” she asked. In urban area such as New York and Philadelphia, some sites are providing 'walk-up' appointments for people with no cars. At the Penn Medicine testing site in West Philadelphia, two security officers late Thursday stood outside to make sure people who arrived by car or foot had an appointment. For about 40 minutes that evening, the line of cars never grew to more than six or seven. But Patricia Sullivan, chief quality officer of Penn Medicine, said every morning this past week, 25 to 35 cars have been lined up and six or seven walk-up patients have stood 6 feet apart under a portico waiting to be seen. The 20 sites in greater Philadelphia are testing about 1,000 people a day, but that hasn't cleared the pent-up demand. Rosanne Tanner’s 79-year-old mother has been sick with a fever and chest pain since returning from visiting Tanner’s brother and his wife, who had recently been on a cruise ship. Her doctor ordered a test on Tuesday, but when she tried to get an appointment at a drive-thru site at a hospital outside Philadelphia, they were told “they are overloaded, they’re bogged down,” Tanner said. Medical staff told her they're scheduling 15 minutes apart so there aren’t bottlenecks at the test site. Finally on Thursday her mother secured an appointment for the following Tuesday. Then, she will have to wait five more days for a result. “The lag time on these tests, it’s putting people at risk,” Tanner said. In Rhode Island, state officials said they are testing around 100 to 200 people a day at all testing sites, including three drive-thrus. Gov. Gina Raimondo said they want to perform 500 to 600 per day, but they don’t have the supplies they need. “It is our absolute top priority to get to a place where everyone who needs it can be tested and you’ll get the results very quickly,' Raimondo said at a news conference held via Facebook Live on Friday. 'Then if you’re positive, we can get you quarantined.” ____ Associated Press writers Michelle L. Price in Las Vegas, Lynne Sladky in Homestead, Florida, Claudia Lauer in Philadelphia, Chris Ehrmann in Hartford, Connecticut, Brady McCombs in Salt Lake City, and Jonathan Drew in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Anne D'Innocenzio and Mike Sisak in New York contributed to this report. ___ The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
  • Not only is the temperature scorching in parts of America, the job market is hot as well. That’s because U.S. businesses have gone on a hiring spree for much of 2019. July looks to be no different as several well-known companies are looking for help, according to employer review site Glassdoor, which just released its new jobs report. Is your resume job-ready? If so, don’t hesitate to send it to one of these companies hiring like crazy in July… Advance Auto Parts, Paychex, Prudential are hiring right now If you’ve got the right skills, companies in technology, retail and other top industries are ready to bring you aboard. They’re offering competitive salaries, cool benefits and flexible schedules to recruit top talent. Here are 10 companies that Glassdoor says are hiring like crazy in July: Advance Auto Parts Open positions: Customer Account Manager, Branch Operations Lead, Enterprise Architect, Marketing Senior Associate, Full Stack Developer, Senior Brand Manager, Marketing Analyst, Procurement Manager, Corporate Support & Operations Manager Locations: Raleigh, NC; Durham, NC; Gloucester, MA; Cary, NC; Roanoke, VA; Berkely, CA; Newark, CA; Fullerton, CA; North Little Rock, AR; Flower Mount, TX & more. Bankers Healthcare Group Open positions: Business Analyst, Sales Operations Analyst, Senior Network Engineer, Report Writer, Cloud Solutions Architect/Cloud Engineer, Senior Marketing Analyst, Funding Coordinator, VP of Patient Lending, SEO Specialist & more. Locations: Davie, FL; New York, NY; Syracuse, NY; Fort Lauderdale, FL. DESC Open positions: Homeless Outreach Resident Nurse, Psychiatric Resident Nurse, Clinical Support Specialist, Reports/Data Specialist, Behavioral Health Case Manager, Case Manager – Therapist, Mental Health Profession/Screening Coordinator & more. Locations: Seattle, WA; Federal Way, WA; Grammarly Open positions: Product Designer, Digital Marketing Manager, Brand Marketing Specialist (Influencer + Podcast Channels), Mobile Marketing Manager, Sales Director, Software Engineer, Analytical Linguist, Business Recruiter & more. Locations: San Francisco, CA; New York, NY & more. Guidewire Open positions: Senior Cloud Security Engineer, Cloud Sales Enablement Manager, Principal Technical Writer, Senior Software Engineer, Digital Architect, UX Architect & more. Locations: San Mateo, CA; Foster City, CA; New Bedford, MA; Exton, PA; Edina, MN; New York, NY; Birmingham, AL; Columbia, SC & more. Integral Ad Science Open positions: Platform Services Manager, Solutions Engineer, QA Engineer, Sales Operations Associate, Sales Learning & Development Specialist, DevOps Engineer, Systems Engineer, Lead UX Researcher & more. Locations: San Francisco, CA; New York, NY; Chicago, IL & more. Mathworks Open positions: Quality Engineer, Senior Software Engineer, Principal Pricing Analyst, Application Engineer/Techincal Account Manager, C++ Software Engineer, Cloud Investigations and Protoyping Intern, Enterprise Field Marketing Manager, User Experience Specialist, UX Designer & more. Locations: Novi, MI; Natick, MA; Santa Clara, CA; Albuquerque, NM & more. Paychex Open positions: Sales Representative, Sales Manager, Systems Engineer II, Scrum Master, Customer Service Representative, Senior Product Manager, Sales Engineer, Web Developer, PEO Sales Analyst, Marketing Technology Manager & more. Locations: Cleveland, OH; Allentown, PA; Renton, WA; San Diego, CA; Rochester, NY; West Henrietta, NY; New York, NY; Denver, CO & more. Progress Residential Open positions: Corporate Counsel, Salesforce Support Specialist, Account Manager, Lease Application Coordinator, Accounts Payable Specialist, Senior Project Manager – RTS (Renovations), Closing Specialist, Senior Accountant, Property Administrator & more. Locations: Scottsdale, AZ; Tampa, Fl; Alpharetta, GA;  Memphis, TN; Altamonte Springs, FL; Jacksonville, FL. Prudential Open positions: Financial Professional Associate, Regional Sales Vice President, Information Security Associate, Accounting Specialist, Senior Compensation Associate, Investment Banking Associate, Associate DevOps Engineer, Marketing Associate, Junior Business Systems Analyst. Locations: Newark, NJ; Iselin, NJ; Chalfont, PA; Dresher, PA; Roseland, NJ; El Paso, TX; Plymouth, MN; Hartford, CT; Sunnyvale, CA & more. See Glassdoor’s full list of companies hiring like crazy for July! Give your resume a makeover To advance to the interview stage, you need to have a resume that hiring managers will notice! If you haven’t updated your resume in the past year, dust it off and update it so that you’re ready when the perfect job opportunity comes along. Does your resume look anything like the one on the left?  Follow Team Clark’s step-by-step guide to resume success in 2019! More Clark.com job search resources: Best resume template: 9 ways to update your resume Work From Home Guide: A list of legitimate work-at-home job opportunities 25 best LinkedIn profile tips and tricks for 2019 This article was originally published on Clark.com The post Job alert: These 10 companies are hiring like crazy in July appeared first on Clark Howard.
  • Less than 24 hours after a dozen brides came forward and said they had lost thousands of dollars to Alphonso Morris, with A&T Enterprise, for wedding photography they never got, the founder of Academy of Scholars, a private school in Arlington, Florida, claimed Morris also ripped her off. >> Watch the news report here “At this time, it needs to be stopped. There’s too many people that trust him,” Shevonica Howell said. >> Read more trending news  Howell said she hired Morris in 2016 to be the band director at her school. “I did see some red flags, I’ll be honest, on the background check, but things happen,” Howell said. But she said that after he didn’t show up to work for 19 of the 44 instructional days, he was fired. “He probably had about 10 kids based on how many times there was a birth or a death. I just couldn’t understand that,” Howell said. When he left, she said, he took all the band equipment that was donated to the school. She said she then found out he created a GoFundMe account with the school’s logo asking for donations. “To scam the community, kids that look up to him – I don’t understand that,” Howell said. Howell said she went to police and never heard from Morris again. The Better Business Bureau has created a file on Morris’ businesses to help warn others. “To hear that there were dozens of people scammed by this company and we weren’t reflecting that was disheartening,” said Shannon Nelson with the Better Business Bureau. ActionNewsJax also found Morris was connected to another business called Snap It Photography. A lawsuit was filed that claims Morris didn’t show up to photograph an event and it states, “This young man turned out to be a con artist.' The BBB wants people to contact the agency with complaints against Morris. ActionNewsJax tried to contact Morris again but couldn’t get in touch with him.
  • If you’re looking to make a career change, this summer is a great time to get your resume together and start applying for new jobs. Experts at the job search website Glassdoor say the 2018 job market is the strongest it has been in a generation — with a low unemployment rate of 3.8% in May. RELATED: 30 jobs in 30 days: Work from home with Amazon Mechanical Turk Amazon, FedEx and CKE Restaurants are hiring right now! Companies in the health care, tech, retail and other leading industries are ready to hire workers with the right skills. They’re offering competitive salaries, cool benefits and flexible schedules to recruit top talent. Here are 10 of the companies that Glassdoor says are hiring like crazy in June: 1. Chewy Open positions: Fulfillment Specialist, Forklift Operator, Senior Operations Manager, Senior Software Engineer, Quality Engineer, Customer Service Representative, Product Manager, Pricing, Military Veterans, Operation Management, Warehouse Worker, Human Resources Business Partner & more Locations: Sparks, NV; Boston, MA; Clayton, IN; Dallas, TX; Dania Beach, FL; Hollywood, FL; Mechanicsburg, PA; Louisville, KY; Ocala, FL; Wilkes-Barre, PA & more 2. Accenture Open positions: Oracle Cloud HCM Technical Lead, Customer Accounts Representative, Workday HCM Senior Manager, JavaScript-Node Developer, Customer Service Team Lead, Big Data Consultant, Healthcare Public Sector Cloud Advisory Manager & more Locations: Bethesda, MD; Austin, TX; San Jose, CA; Seattle, WA; New York, NY; Atlanta, GA; Ontario, CA; Washington, DC & more 3. L’Oreal Open positions: Sales Representative, Sr. Chemist for Fast Beauty Innovation, VP of End-to-End Operations, Plant Hygienist, Manager of Real Estate Projects, Senior Manager of Packaging Innovation, Senior Planning Architect, Key Holder, Director of Product Design & more Locations: New York, NY; Auvergne, AR; Grand Junction, CO; Fr Settlement, LA; Sicily, IL; Marche, AR & more 4. Amazon Open positions: Prime Now Associate, Part-Time Sortation Associate, Full-Time Warehouse Associate, Seasonal Sortation Associate, Fresh Warehouse Associate, Area Manager & more Locations: West Valley City, UT; San Antonio, TX; Tracy, CA; Mundelein, IL; Jacksonville, FL; Baltimore, MD; Bethpage, NY; Kent, WA & more 5. CKE Restaurants Open positions: Crew Person, General Manager in Training, Shift Leader, Real Estate Manager, Manager, Executive Assistant, Restaurant Profitability Coach, Director of Audit, IT Manager & more Locations: Nashville, TN; Lavonia, GA; Anaheim, CA; Franklin, TN; Los Angeles, CA; Spartanburg, SC; Hobbs, NM; Anderson, SC & more 6. FedEx Open positions: Admin Support, Retail Customer Service Associate, Driver Apprentice, Team Leader Part-Time, Freight Handler Part-Time, Service Center Support, Account Executive Market Development, Store Manager, Forklift Operator & more Locations: Memphis, TN; Chicago, IL; Collierville, TN; Colorado Springs, CO; Dallas, TX; Harrison, AR; Windsor Locks, CT: Salt Lake City, UT & more 7. ATI Physical Therapy Open positions: Occupational Health RN, Billing Specialist, Physical Therapist Assistant, Rehab Technician, Clinical Assistant, Outreach Athletic Trainer, Exercise Specialist, Senior Accountant, Driver & more Locations: Hyattsville, MD; Las Vegas, NV; Wilmington, DE; Waldorf, MD; Algonquin, IL; Madisonville, KY; Monroe, MI; Plano, TX; Bolingbrook, IL & more 8. Arrow Exterminators Open positions: Inside Sales, Customer Care Coordinator, Pest Control Technician, Corporate Administrative Assistant, Outside Sales Professional, Branch Manager, Accounts Collection Coordinator, Office Manager & more Locations: Maryville, TN; Columbus, GA; Decatur, TX; Franklin, TN; Spartanburg, SC; Lynbrook, NY; Atlanta, GA & more 9. Protiviti Open positions: Interns, Regulatory Manager, IT Audit Senior Consultant, Mergers & Acquisitions Senior Manager, Technology Consulting Security & Privacy Senior Consultant, Internal Audit Healthcare Manager, Risk & Compliance – Regulatory Manager & more Locations: San Francisco, CA; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; Seattle, WA; New York, NY & more 10. Northrop Grumman Open positions: Embedded Software Engineer, Senior DevOps Systems Administrator, Cloud Administrator, Program Cost Schedule & Control Analyst, Front-End Web Developer, Cyber Information Systems Security Analyst & more Locations: Chantilly, VA; Annapolis Junction, MD; Sierra Vista, AZ; Falls Church, VA & more See the full list of 40 companies hiring like crazy in June at Glassdoor.com. Give your resume a makeover To advance to the interview stage, you need to have a resume that hiring managers will notice! If you haven’t updated your resume in the past year, dust it off and update it so that you’re ready when the perfect job opportunity comes along. Does your resume look anything like the one on the left?  Follow Team Clark’s step-by-step guide to resume success in 2018! More Clark.com job search resources: Job alert: 50 best places to work in 2018 25 ways to make your LinkedIn profile stand out in 2018 Top 10 jobs for 2018 that don’t require a college degree Related Articles from clark.com: Vegetables sold at Aldi, Walmart, Trader Joe’s recalled over listeria fears Read More 7 things to know before you buy gas at Costco Wholesale Read More Employees reveal 7 secrets about shopping at Trader Joe's Read More
  • Keyless ignition has become standard in the majority of new cars today, but amid the fanfare for state-of-the-art advancements in the auto industry, there is can be a dark side that many people don’t know about. People who own cars with keyless ignition systems have been prone to park and get out of the vehicle while it is still running. This is apparently happening because they either assume that if they have the key, the car must be off or they’re just forgetting to press the off button. In either scenario, the mistake cam be deadly, according to a new report. Keyless ignition systems linked to deaths — here’s how to stay safe More than two dozen people have been killed by carbon monoxide in keyless ignition-related incidents across the country over the past 12 years, according to the New York Times. Many more have been hurt, some even left with brain damage, the Times reports. While many vehicles have a series of beeps and other warning signals to let the driver know that the car is still running, there is no uniform standard that automakers must adhere to. As a result, a voluntary hodge-podge system is leaving motorists, especially older ones, at risk, the Times reports. In March of this year, Action News Jacksonville detailed the story of a Florida mother who was on a job-related phone call when she pulled into her parents’ garage with her baby in the backseat. “As I came in I wanted the garage door to be closed when the conference call started so I went ahead and pushed the button to close the door,” Constance Petot told Action News Jacksonville. “And I think in my head I just told myself I had pushed this button instead of that button.” Later that night, her young son woke up crying. It turns out, the 13-month-old, who may have had a headache, his mother says, ended up saving his and other family members’ lives. Carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas, had reached dangerous levels throughout the home. “Once I got dizzy, I knew I needed to get out of there,” Petot was quoted as saying. “And walked down the stairs, opened the garage door and saw that the taillight was on.” Resistance from the auto industry, along with relative inaction by safety agencies, has led to scant information being known about keyless tech-related deaths, the article says. In fact, as the Times article points out: “The exact number of deaths related to carbon monoxide from keyless-ignition vehicles left running is unknown, as no federal agency keeps comprehensive records.” Still, if you have a key fob, there’s no need to panic or make rash decisions. Here are some ways you can prevent deadly mistakes from happening: Here’s what you can do to protect yourself If you have a keyless ignition vehicle, keep a carbon monoxide detector near the entrance of your home’s garage door If your home’s carbon monoxide detector (or smoke detector) goes off, immediately head outside or do what you can to open a window so some fresh air can enter. Immediately make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for Call 911 or any local emergency service, like the fire department Don’t assume the home is safe for re-entry until the authorities have told you so Keep up to date with the latest safety tips and more at Clark.com. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter and Facebook! RELATED: Keyless ignition may pose hidden, deadly dangers Related Articles from clark.com: Vegetables sold at Aldi, Walmart, Trader Joe’s recalled over listeria fears Read More Employees reveal 7 secrets about shopping at Trader Joe's Read More How to cancel private mortgage insurance years ahead of schedule Read More
  • After nearly bottoming out about a decade ago, home prices are again on the upswing around the United States. Attesting to the heat of the real estate market, structures that were affordable just five years ago in many places are out of reach for a lot of people today. The trend could cause some to assume that buying a home with an affordable mortgage is just a dream, but that’s not the case. There are still many locales around the nation with low housing costs. 10 cities where you can find a home for less than $800 a month To be fair, it bears pointing out that many of the cities where you can find cheaper houses have sluggish economic growth and low wages, according to GoBankingRates.com. The finance site recently looked at 20 cities where you could buy for $1,000 a month, including relatively thriving cities like Jacksonville, Florida, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. But there are multiple cities where you could shave $200 a month off that figure and still get into a decent home. The numbers were arrived at by calculating Zillow data on the average mortgage rate (all about 4.3%) and monthly mortgage payments with the assumption of a 20% down payment. Here are 10 cities around the United States where you can get a mortgage for $800 or less along with the forecast increase in average value over the course of the next year, according to GoBankingRates.com: 10. Wichita, Kansas Monthly mortgage payment: $746 1-year forecast: 3.7% 9. Tulsa, Oklahoma Monthly mortgage payment : $789 1-year forecast: 3.2% 8. Milwaukee, Wisconsin Monthly mortgage payment : $595 1-year forecast: 4.1% 7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Monthly mortgage payment: $887 1-year forecast : 2.3% 6. El Paso, Texas Monthly mortgage payment: $806 1-year forecast: 2.1% 5. Buffalo, New York Monthly mortgage payment: $428 1-year forecast : 4.3% 4. Cleveland, Ohio Monthly mortgage payment: $380 1-year forecast: 4.1% 3. Baltimore, Maryland Monthly mortgage payment : $695 1-year forecast : 2.2% 2. Memphis, Tennessee Monthly mortgage payment: $403 1-year forecast: 3.4% 1. Toledo, Ohio Monthly mortgage payment: $382 1-year forecast : 2.3% What makes a person want to buy a particular home? Research tells us many factors, like schools, proximity to the workplace and the like are involved. But in many cases, especially when it comes to young adults, it could even be Instagram. RELATED: Selling your home yourself? Here’s why an ‘Agents Protected’ sign is huge Related Articles from clark.com: New report: This pharmacy's prices are cheaper than Costco Read More Travel alert: Clark Howard warns about American, Delta and United’s cheap fares Read More Aldi vs. Kroger vs. Walmart: Which grocery store has the lowest prices? Read More
  • DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Costa Rica HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta: $390 San Jose, Costa Rica, or $178 south, $212 north Valid most days southbound starting on or after August 1 through October 31 Valid most days northbound starting on after September 11 Finish trips on or before February 11, 2019 Valid on American via Miami Booking tip: Purchase as one-way tickets (round-trip prices higher) Compare to Delta’s regularly published rates of $717 TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS Safe Travel Staying safe while you travel abroad isn’t so different from avoiding crime in your very own neighborhood. Don’t carry too much cash. Don’t leave your things unattended. Leave the jewelry at home. Be aware of the surrounding, who’s around you, and what they’re doing. Here are some often used scams, and some new ones to be aware of: The Turkey Drop: The named was coined by the U.S. Department of State. It’s a common scam where you end up as the turkey. It all starts when you notice a dropped wallet on the ground. Then a stranger appears, pick up the wallet and ask if it’s yours. They might even toss it to you; the goal is to get you to touch or hold the money. That’s when the scammer’s accomplice yells, “That’s my wallet!” and accuse you of trying to steal it. At that point, the scammers join forces against you. There are several variations of this endgame. In the first, the strangers threaten to hand you over to the police if you don’t bribe them handsomely. In the second, they demand that you show your money to prove you didn’t steal theirs. The second your wallet is out in the open, they grab it and run. In another variation, another “tourist” gets involved and suggests sharing the found money. Then the fraudsters appear claiming the full amount. Storage Locker Scam: Never accept the offer of what appears to be an act of kindness at bus or train stations and at airports. Scammers will offer to save you money by passing on the key to a storage locker they just checked out of. If you accept, the scammer will unlock your storage area after you depart the area with a copy key. The Wallet Drop:  You’re sitting in an airport, train station or in a public spot with all your bags and spot a wallet dropped on the ground. You pick it up and run to give it back. The stranger thanks you, and you run back to your seat minus your possessions. An accomplice has made off with all of your stuff. Don’t Display Wealth: Even a broke student backpacker from the U.S. looks fabulously wealthy in southeast Asia. Walk with confidence and feigning indifference to your surroundings. That may mean leaving your expensive camera in the bag and practice a little restraint when taking a selfie. Keep daily walking around money separate from the rest of your travel money. Consider carrying a decoy wallet when in areas known for pickpockets. Get a cheap old wallet and fill it with expired credit cards and a small amount of cash. If someone tries to mug you, hand them the fake wallet, while your real nest egg remains hidden beneath your shirt. Learn more about travel scams at the State Department’s Travel pages . Before a journey, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program or STEP . Through this free service, U.S. citizens can share their travel plans with the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy. STEP will alert travelers via mobile text in extreme situations such as natural disasters, civil unrest, or family emergency. Mobile Passport You know about Global Entry, but what about Mobile Passport ? The free app gets you quickly through U.S. Customs when entering the U.S. at one cruise port and 24 airports. This app effectively replaces the traditional blue-and-white paper declaration form handed out just before landing in the states and on the sea before embarkation. Simply answer the same questions as the paper declaration form (Are you bringing back fruits and vegetables? and Are you carrying more than $10,000?), and then get a digital receipt that allows you to use the express lane to enter the United States. When using the Mobile Passport app to re-enter the states, you will not have to wait in the long, snaking lines and will breeze through customs and immigration faster than those at Global Entry kiosks. Download the Mobile Passport app for either Android or iOS stores the passport number, expiration date, and a photo. On arrival to the states from overseas, switch off airplane mode,  and open the app. Submit answers while taxiing to the terminal, and the app will provide a QR code “receipt” that you can use at customs and immigration in lieu of the traditional paper form. Inside the arrivals hall, look for the designated Mobile Passport lane. An agent will check your passport, scan your receipt, and send you onward to customs, where you can once again take the special Mobile Passport lane to skip any lines. SPECIAL DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL OFFERS Airfare offers – ones with a ticket-by date – and deals with our suggestion to HURRY!  can expire at any time.   Heed Clark’s advice: Buy that great airfare deal – and then figure out a reason to go there! Eventually, you’ll see the world at a fraction of the normal price! One-way from Atlanta, each way: $49 Nashville $59 Greenville $63 Daytona Beach, Orlando (Delta exclusive, nonstop) $67 Ft. Lauderdale (Delta exclusive, nonstop) $77 Orlando $80 St. Louis $82 Boston $83 Houston, Kansas City, W. Palm Beach $84 Detroit $87 Washington DC-Reagan or Dulles $92 Columbus, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Tampa $96 Milwaukee, Pittsburgh $97 Austin, San Antonio $98 NYC-LaGuardia $101 New Orleans $113 Dallas $114 Chicago $119 Raleigh, Richmond $120 Minneapolis $122 Baltimore $127 Denver $128 Philadelphia, Phoenix $144 Las Vegas $153 Oakland $194 San Diego A 21-day advance purchase required Fly Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday through June 13, or August 21 through October 31 Travel to Florida and Nevada Sundays-Wednesdays; from Florida and Nevada Tuesdays-Fridays Blackout dates: May 24, 25, 28; August 31; September 3 Purchase at Southwest Airlines by March 29 One-way from Atlanta, each way: $168 Cancun A 21-day advance purchase required Depart through May 17, or August 21 through October 31 Travel to Cancun Sundays-Wednesdays; from Cancun Tuesdays-Fridays Purchase by March 29 at Southwest Airlines One-way from Atlanta, each way: $235 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Depart through May 17, or August 21 through October 31 Valid Monday-Thursday in each direction Purchase by March 29 at Southwest Airlines HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta: $262 Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos Valid Saturdays only in April Also valid on September 8-December 8 departures (up to 3x week) Complete travel on or before December 19 Valid on United via Houston HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta: $416 Barbados Depart April 16-June 27 or September 3-November 19 Finish trips on or before December 18 Valid on American via Miami HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta: $458-$480 Aruba Depart April 20-February 2, 2019 Finish trips on or before February 11, 2019 Valid on American via Miami or Charlotte How do you find these great airfare deals? Visit Clark’s Atlanta Travel Tips page for a step-by-step search and booking guide. NOTE: Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your flight! Additional charges now apply to budget and sale rates on most airlines for a carry-on bag, checked baggage and advance seat assignments. The least expensive fees are charged when these options are purchased during the ticket booking process. Fees climb higher after flights are reserved and even higher when adding these options at airport check-in. Kayak offers the most up-to-date Fees Chart for all domestic and international airlines. HOTELS, RESORTS & MORE Beach, Baby! Divi Resorts offers promotional deals on Aruba, Bonaire, Barbados and St. Maarten for travel throughout 2018. But bookings must be made by April 30 . The deals save as much as 50% for all military personnel, firefighters and police, including those who are on active service, reserve and retired, as well as their spouses and children. Divi Resorts provides a wide variety of on-site amenities, including elegant restaurants, lively bars, freshwater pools, sports courts, spas and more. All-suite accommodations are perfect for romantic getaways and families needing extra space to stretch out. Plus, with Divi’s Kids Stay and Eat Free Program and Treasures of the Caribbean Kids Club, even young guests will have plenty to do, for a fraction of the cost. Deals on room only and all-inclusive stays: Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort Aruba: From $175, or $227 per person, per night all-inclusive Divi Dutch Village Beach Resort Aruba: From $169, or $200 per person, per night all-inclusive Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort Aruba: From $249 Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino Bonaire: From $149, or $178 per person, per night all-inclusive Divi Southwinds Beach Resort Barbados: From $159 Divi Little Bay Beach Resort St. Maarten: From $189, or $195 per person, per night all-inclusive Luxe NYC Rates from $199, including a $50 food and beverage credit are offered on Thursday-Sunday stays at the chic Kimpton Ink48 Hotel, named as one of NYC’s Top 50 hotels by Conde Nast Traveler. This special rate is valid on April, July and August stays – and over the Memorial Day weekend (May 24-28). Rates range from $219-$239 most Mondays-Wednesdays in April, July-August. Or, travel to see the spectacular July 4th fireworks and stay from $169 from July 1-8. Many nights in May and June are also discounted. The hotel offers beautiful views of the Hudson River and the city skyline, yet is tucked away from the city’s noisiest streets. This sophisticated hotel is also within walking distance of Hell’s Kitchen and Times Square, several major subway lines and a variety of dining options. Newly renovated guest rooms have oversized windows. Onsite venues include a farm-to-table restaurant and one of the city’s best rooftop bars. Guest amenities include a daily hosted wine reception, complimentary morning coffee and tea service, free bike rentals and a yoga mat in every room. The hotel’s convenient and quiet location on the edge of Hell’s Kitchen put it within a few blocks of Times Square, several major subway lines and a variety of dining options. Book soon and start the reservation process at Travelzoo . Also, check out the deals at Travelzoo on NYC theater tickets . Travel e-Scapes is brought to you by Clara Bosonetto, Team Clark Travel Editor. Follow Clara on  Twitter . Looking for more deals? View all current airfare offers at Clark’s Atlanta Travel Deals page or the National Travel Deals page. Get the first word on limited seat sales. Follow us on Social:  Like Clark Smart Travel on Facebook  Follow @Clark_Travel on Twitter Related Articles from clark.com: Warning: Do NOT buy these dietary supplements Read More 3 money-saving Amazon Prime perks you need to know about right now Read More The best wireless network in America is... Read More
  • DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Cancun Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $336 Cancan, or $168 each way Valid April 3-May 17 or August 21-October 31 Travel to Cancun Sundays-Wednesdays; from Cancun Tuesdays-Fridays Purchase by March 15 Valid on Southwest Airlines , nonstop (and up to 2 free checked bags) TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS Unique Disney Tours Disney World Orlando guests now have the chance to play conservationist for a limited time with a unique behind-the-scenes tour of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In honor of the park’s 20th-anniversary celebration, Disney is rolling out “A Path Less Traveled,” a self-described “special collection of unique experiences that give guests a fun behind-the-scenes look at the magic of nature.” The activities, which will only be available April 1-May 5, include a trio of behind-the-scenes animal care programs, as well as VIP waterfront seating at the Rivers of Light nighttime show. Adventurers looking for a more intimate exploration of the park will enjoy: A Visit to Rafiki’s Planet Watch: Take a peek at one of Disney’s state-of-the-art veterinary hospitals while learning about the theme park’s animal care program for more than 1,500 animal residents. Birds Nest Exploration: Disney is a migratory playground for the purple martin, North America’s largest swallow. The birds travel more than 3,000 miles from their winter home in the Brazilian Amazon to their Orlando perch, where Disney has set up nearly two dozen purple martin house “resorts.” Unforgettable Elephant Encounters: This program includes a one-hour Caring for Giants tour, observing elephants from a distance of approximately 80 to 100 feet, Programs are scheduled throughout the day. Reserve the tour by calling (407) 939-7529. The fee for the entire program is $59, including a snack and drink option. Miami Food Halls The La Centrale Miami Italian Food Hall has opened at Brickell City Centre in downtown Miami. The 40,000-square-foot dining and marketplace concept brings together 14 food stations, five bars and a wine shop stocked with more than 4,000 bottles – food and drink unique to 20 Italian regions. The first floor features six grab-and-go counters overflowing with espresso, salads, cheeses, meats and breads, along with an all-day breakfast and lunch café, and a rustic pizza and pasta family style restaurant. The second floor features three traditional sit-down restaurants including Carne, La Centrale’s steakhouse that prepares 48-day dry-aged steaks over a wood-fire grill. Pesce, the hall’s seafood restaurant inspired by the Italian Riviera, flies in fresh branzino from Italy every morning. There’s also a lively cocktail bar with a large performance stage, and a chocolate shop filled with two chocolate fountains, 16 rotating gelato flavors and 80 types of imported chocolates. The top floor is all about wine with Enoteca , a robust wine bar, complete with wine flights, a small bites menu and free weekly tastings. La Centrale joins the 18,000-square-foot Casa Tua Cucina , which offers a similar lineup of Italian cuisine, located inside Saks Fifth Avenue at Brickell City Centre. The 300-seat Casa Tua Cucina includes ten dining stations, each with a different chef and all sharing a kitchen. It’s also family-friendly, with a more casual atmosphere and affordable prices. SPECIAL DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL OFFERS Airfare offers – ones with a ticket-by date – and deals with our suggestion to HURRY!  can expire at any time.   Heed Clark’s advice: Buy that great airfare deal – and then figure out a reason to go there! Eventually, you’ll see the world at a fraction of the normal price! 3-Day Flash Sale! One-way from Atlanta, each way: $49 Greenville, Nashville $74 Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit $80 St. Louis $82 Boston $83 Houston, Kansas City, W. Palm Beach $84 Philadelphia $86 New Orleans $87 Washington DC-Reagan or Dulles $92 Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Tampa $94 Austin, San Antonio $96 Milwaukee, Pittsburgh $104 Denver, Minneapolis $119 Richmond or Raleigh $194 San Diego A 21-day advance purchase required Valid Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays Travel to Florida valid Sundays-Wednesdays; from Florida Tuesdays-Fridays Travel April 3-June 13 or August 21-October 31 Blackout dates: May 24, 25, 28; August 31; September 3 Purchase by March 15 at Southwest Airlines NOTE: This is not a systemwide sale and not all cities served from ATL are included How do you find these great airfare deals? Visit Clark’s Atlanta Travel Tips page for a step-by-step search and booking guide. NOTE: Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your flight! Additional charges now apply to budget and sale rates on most airlines for a carry-on bag, checked baggage and advance seat assignments. The least expensive fees are charged when these options are purchased during the ticket booking process. Fees climb higher after flights are reserved and even higher when adding these options at airport check-in. Kayak offers the most up-to-date Fees Chart for all domestic and international airlines. HOTELS, RESORTS & MORE Germany’s FlixBus & Eurail Promo Germany’s rail sector remains dominated by Deutsche Bahn, which still accounts for 99% of all long-distance rail journeys. But since last summer there is some competition! Flixbus, known for its expansive bus network across Europe, will offer Flixtrain service between Hamburg and Cologne (via Duesseldorf, Essen and Osnabrueck) from March 24 onwards. Travelers will now be able to reach Hamburg with non-stop connections from Duesseldorf, Essen or Cologne just as quickly as with the ICE Deutsche Bahn. Prices will start from €9.99 each way, lower than those of rival Deutsche Bahn. Onboard features include complimentary Wi-Fi, extra legroom, low-cost snacks and drinks, numerous plug sockets and a lot of room for baggage. Currently, travelers can ride with Flixbus to over 1,400 travel destinations in 27 countries. If you have the time, Flixbus offers a Discover 5 European cities for €99, valid for up to 90 days. The low-cost giant has now set its sights on the United States, where it plans to take on the iconic Greyhound Lines by launching a series of long-distance bus services in California later this year. ______ Explore more of Europe for less money with Eurail’s Extra Days Promotion . For those purchasing passes through March 31, five extra travel days can be added. Additional benefits include discounts of up to 20% on City Cards in cities such as Barcelona, Brussels, Ljubljana and Salzburg. Those purchasing the Eurail Global Pass can earn one extra day with both the five-day and seven-day passes. The purchase of Global Passes for 10 or 15 days of travel within two months, earns two extra days. For those traveling 15 days on a continuous pass, two extra days are offered. Visitors traveling on a continuous pass for 22 days can get three extra days and those traveling for one month, continuously receive five free days. Extra days are also offered on the Eurail Select Pass and the One Country Pass. Passes are available for purchase up to 11 months in advance. San Francisco Getaways Book a stay at the stylish Harbor Court Hotel which features stunning views of the Bay Bridge and Embarcadero. Onsite is a swimming pool and a fitness center and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is just across the street for breakfast to dinner dining options. Other amenities include a sleek, on-site Japanese restaurant and sake lounge, loaner bikes and access to an adjacent YMCA (both for a fee). Plush, colorful rooms feature Bay Bridge, city or courtyard views and have free Wi-Fi, iHome docks, minibars and flat-screen TVs. Rooms also have yoga mats, designer toiletries, Italian linens and goose-down duvets. An evening wine hour and morning coffee and tea are complimentary for guests. Here’s a look at sample per night rates in a Queen room with the 50% Off Weekend Promotion (3-night stay): Friday from $150 Saturday from $210 Sunday from $90 This waterfront hotel is a 6-minute walk from the BART Embarcadero rail station. Travel e-Scapes is brought to you by Clara Bosonetto, Team Clark Travel Editor. Follow Clara on  Twitter . Looking for more deals? View all current airfare offers at Clark’s Atlanta Travel Deals page or the National Travel Deals page. Get the first word on limited seat sales. Follow us on Social:  Like Clark Smart Travel on Facebook  Follow @Clark_Travel on Twitter Related Articles from clark.com: Here's your 2018 estimated tax refund schedule Read More Warning: Do NOT buy these dietary supplements Read More 3 money-saving Amazon Prime perks you need to know about right now Read More
  • DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Switzerland HURRY! Round-trip from New York: $423-$500 New York-JFK to Zurich, Switzerland Depart April 8-June 8 Finish trips on or before June 22 Or depart August 20-October 10 Finish travel on or before October 25 Valid on Swiss, nonstop Note: Rates are slightly higher in July Purchase by March 22 Atlanta travelers:  See below how to travel for $551 to Zurich! TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS Flying Support/Service Animals Customers have attempted to fly with all manner of animals in recent years, according to Delta, including comfort turkeys, gliding possums, snakes, and spiders. The policy changes come on the heels of an 84% increase in reported incidents involving service and support animals since 2016. The airline said that passengers ignoring the true intent of existing rules regarding service and support animals is a disservice to customers who have real, documented needs. This week, Delta began enforcing new regulations for passengers traveling with emotional support and service animals and now requires in some cases a Veterinary Health Form and immunization record be provided or other proof that the animal’s vaccinations are up to date. For emotional support animals, the new Delta regulations are stricter and include a range of mandatory requirements, among them submission of a Veterinary Health Form and immunization records as well as an Emotional Support/Psychiatric Service Animal Request form that includes a letter prepared and signed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional. Learn more about the new Delta policy changes and requirements . United Airlines also now requires additional documentation from those wishing to travel with emotional support or psychiatric service animals. Visit United for updated policy information and new requirements. Wheel Deals Visiting Florida soon? Buy an inexpensive one-way flight south and drive out a deal from a number of rental car companies from just $9.99 (pre-tax) per day — for up to 14 days. Act fast on these offers! Once the rental car company projects enough cars will be relocated, the promotional deals end and the era of high daily rates and one-way fees returns for the season. Published rates shown on various websites are only the Base Rate charge (Time and Mileage) and exclude applicable taxes, fees, surcharges, refueling, drop-off, and charges for optional products or services such as Damage Waiver (at $30 or less per day), which are the responsibility of the renter. Minimum age may vary by location and an additional daily surcharge may apply for renters under 25 years old. This savings offer is valid with Alamo for reservations picked up between March 26 and May 31 from the following participating Florida locations: Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Naples and Punta Gorda. Also valid for reservations picked up between April 1 and May 31 at the following participating Florida locations: Tampa, Clearwater, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm, Key West and Boca Raton. From $9.99 Economy through Full Size vehicles As low as $19.99 Intermediate and Standard SUVs As low as $24.99 base rate per day applies to Minivans For certain locations, base rates of less than $9.99 per day may be available. To see if a lower rate is available, visit http://www.alamo.com or contact the pick up location. Book your one-way ride at Alamo . ______ Rentals from Enterprise are valid for reservations picked up between March 26-May 31 from the following participating Florida locations: Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Naples, Punta Gorda, Orlando, Disney Hotels, Daytona Beach, Melbourne and Sanford. Also valid for reservations picked up between April 1-May 31 from: Tampa, Clearwater, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm, Key West and Boca Raton. $9.99 per day on Economy through Full Size From $19.99 daily on Intermediate and Standard SUVs From $24.99 for Minivans Book these wheel deals at Enterprise . ______ Avis also participates with slightly varied rates and dates: Availability is April 1 through May 31. Use AWD code R003500 at checkout and let your journey begin! Here are the per day rates: Economy, Compact, Midsize, Standard, Full Size $14.95/day (groups A-E) Intermediate SUV $19.95/day (group F) Standard SUV $19.95/day (group W) Standard Elite SUV $19.95/day Convertible $19.95/day (group K) Minivan $24.95/day (group V) Passenger Van $41.95/day (group P) This offer excludes pick-up from Pensacola and Jacksonville. Participating drop off cities include: Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, San Antonio, St. Louis, Boston, Buffalo, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Washington/Baltimore, Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Raleigh Durham, Albuquerque, Northern California, Portland, Seattle, Southern California, Las Vegas. Start your reservation at Avis . ______ Springtime drive-out rates from Budget are eligible on pick ups from April 1 through May 31. Use BCD code S374100 for these rates: $14.49 Economy through Full Size $19.49 Intermediate SUV, Standard Elite SUV, Minivan and Convertible $24.49/day Passenger Van $41.49/day Standard SUV Excludes pick-up from Pensacola and Jacksonville. Participating drop off cities include: Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, San Antonio, St. Louis, Boston, Buffalo, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Washington/Baltimore, Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Raleigh Durham, Albuquerque, Northern California, Portland, Seattle, and Southern California. ______ Hertz has yet to publish spring drive-out Florida rates but will likely match these offers. Watch for new offers on the special deals page. SPECIAL DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL OFFERS Airfare offers – ones with a ticket-by date – and deals with our suggestion to HURRY!  can expire at any time.   Heed Clark’s advice: Buy that great airfare deal – and then figure out a reason to go there! Eventually, you’ll see the world at a fraction of the normal price! HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $58 Orlando, or $29 each way Valid Tuesday or Wednesday from on March 20-29 travel Rates range from $29-$40 daily through May 23 and $50 through November 1 Valid on Frontier, nonstop HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $94 Miami, or $47 each way No advance purchase required — go as soon as this week Valid Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday through August 21 Blackout dates: June 28, 29 Valid on American, nonstop Tip: Most availability is on Tuesdays HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $98 Austin, or $49 each way Valid Tuesdays only starting on or after April 11; final travel May 16 $174 Phoenix, or $87 each way Valid Tuesdays only starting on or after April 10; final travel May 22 Valid on Frontier, nonstop HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $128 Orlando, or $64 each way Valid daily starting on or after April 2 Finish trips on or before October 1 (from $74 thereafter) Valid on Delta, nonstop HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $128 New Orleans, or $64 each way A 14-day advance purchase required Valid daily through May 23 on nonstop Delta flights HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $128 New York-JFK, or $64 each way Valid Tuesdays and Wednesdays through May 2; $99 thereafter Add this ticket with the nonstop Swiss offer above for a total of $551 Compare to Delta’s round-trip ATL-ZRH rate of $1,200 HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $148 Ft. Lauderdale, or $74 each way A 21-day advance purchase required Valid daily through November 3 (from $83 thereafter) Valid on Delta, nonstop HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $158 Tampa, or $79 each way Valid daily starting on or after April 10 (time of day specific) Finish trips on or before June 14 Valid on Delta, nonstop HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta: $266-$280 Cabo San Lucas-Los Cabos Depart daily starting on or after September 1 through December 11 Finish trips on or before January 11 Valid on United via Houston HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $359 Barbados, or $150 south; $209 north Valid Monday-Friday Depart September 4 through November 5 south; from April 12 through January 11 north Valid on American via Miami Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted): $460 Anchorage or Fairbanks, Alaska, or $230 each way Valid Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday starting on or after April 10 Finish trips on or before May 23 Valid on Delta via Seattle Purchase by March 21 Round-trip from Atlanta: $672 Paris Valid midweek on April 6 through May 4 departures Finish trips on or before May 17 Valid on American via Charlotte or Philadelphia Purchase by March 14 (we suggest asap!) HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta: $990 Buenos Aires, Argentina Valid daily Depart April 9 through June 3 Finish trips on or before June 18 A 3-night minimum stay required Valid on American via Dallas Compare to Delta’s round-trip rate of $1,759 How do you find these great airfare deals? Visit Clark’s Atlanta Travel Tips page for a step-by-step search and booking guide. NOTE: Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your flight! Additional charges now apply to budget and sale rates on most airlines for a carry-on bag, checked baggage and advance seat assignments. The least expensive fees are charged when these options are purchased during the ticket booking process. Fees climb higher after flights are reserved and even higher when adding these options at airport check-in. Kayak offers the most up-to-date Fees Chart for all domestic and international airlines. HOTELS, RESORTS & MORE NOLA Rates start from just $109 a night at the recently renovated SpringHill Suites New Orleans Downtown/Convention Center . Guest rooms received new furniture, paint, carpet and bathrooms, while the breakfast area also received a major makeover. The all-suite hotel additionally expanded its fitness center with cardio equipment and free weights. Modern suites have free WiFi, premium cable channels, plus desks and living areas with pull-out sofas. Kitchenettes provide coffeemakers, minifridges, microwaves and wet bars. The morning breakfast buffet with fresh-baked croissants, fresh fruits, golden-brown waffles and eggs made to order is complimentary for diners staying at the hotel. Onsite is a convenience store, an outdoor pool, a hot tub and a coin laundry. This SpringHill Suites property is 9-minute walk to the Port of New Orleans, Harrah’s New Orleans, The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk and National WWII Museum (5-minute walk). SC Getaway Enjoy a Low Country Getaway at Wild Dunes Resort on the Isle of Palms through March 30. The 1,600 acre resort in South Carolina spans the northern tip of the Isle of Palms, a lush barrier island off the coast of Charleston. Sitting on 1,600 acres, the oceanfront resort offers a variety of accommodations, including oceanfront suites and homes overlooking the fairways. Explore the island on bikes, play golf or tennis, or drive 15 miles into historic downtown Charleston. Save 20% on a two-night stay or 25% on three or more nights in the AAA Four Diamond Boardwalk Inn, the Village at Wild Dunes (choose from guestrooms, studio suites, one- to three-bedroom suites and penthouses), or select home and condo rentals (three- to seven-bedroom homes and one- to three-bedroom condos). Nightly rates before the discount start from $149. Mention Washingtonian to receive a complimentary Wild Dunes Resort bucket gift filled with local snacks and beers (a $25 value). Refer to code WILDDC when booking. The Countdown to Summer promotion offers 20% savings for May 28-August 30 stays in the Village and on vacation home and condo rentals. A minimum two-night stay required. Average rates from $159 in a Village Resort View guest room situated 200 yards to the beach. Onsite are numerous dining options, a spa, and the newly renovated Links Course and Harbor Course – both open to the public. Tennis Magazine ranked Wild Dunes a U.S. Top 10 Tennis Resort for nine years in a row. The resort offers 17 Har-Tru courts – including a stadium court – and light five of them for night play. Guests enjoy daily complimentary court time and programs for all levels of play to clinics and drills. Travel e-Scapes is brought to you by Clara Bosonetto, Team Clark Travel Editor. Follow Clara on  Twitter . Looking for more deals? View all current airfare offers at Clark’s Atlanta Travel Deals page or the National Travel Deals page. Get the first word on limited seat sales. Follow us on Social:  Like Clark Smart Travel on Facebook  Follow @Clark_Travel on Twitter Related Articles from clark.com: Here's your 2018 estimated tax refund schedule Read More Warning: Do NOT buy these dietary supplements Read More 3 money-saving Amazon Prime perks you need to know about right now Read More
  • Want to get a one-way rental car for dirt cheap? The calendar can be your friend twice a year! RELATED: Here’s how your passport could be useless, even if it’s not expired Do you know this secret of the car rental industry? Have you ever heard of a re-positioning cruise in the cruise ship industry? That’s where you get a super-cheap price on a cruise simply because the cruise line has to move the ship back from where it already is to a hot vacation market ahead of a peak travel time. Not a lot of people know this, but it’s possible to get the equivalent of this in the car rental industry. Twice a year, car rental companies have to move cars around to meet demand. They will give you a great deal on a one-way rental if you can help them! Right now, we’re about to enter one of those periods. What you need to know about re-positioning rental car deals As peak season comes to an end in Florida, car rental companies need to get their vehicles out of the state and move them up North along the East Coast. This is the time of year you’ll find rentals for around $15 per day — if you can move their vehicles out of the Sunshine State. Generally, you can rent up to two weeks on one of these deals. If you want to be really frugal, you can buy the cheapest one-way airfare into Florida from wherever you live. Then you pick your rental up at the airport, and you keep it for up to 14 days. Use it during your vacation and then drive it back up North! Even at $15/day, these offers save the car rental companies a fortune because they get out of having to hire a transfer driver or dedicating an employee to re-position the vehicle. So you get a great deal and you save the rental company money at the same time! In the fall, it works in reverse in the fall. You can get a deal in the North and drive it down to Florida. You’ll get to use it while you’re down there and then you can get a cheap one-way airline ticket back home. This is the smart way to have a cheaper Florida vacation. Avis deals Avis availability is April 1 through May 31. Use AWD code R003500 at checkout to score these deals. Here are the per day rates: Economy, Compact, Midsize, Standard, Full Size $14.95/day (groups A-E) Intermediate SUV $19.95/day (group F) Standard SUV $19.95/day (group W) Standard Elite SUV $19.95/day Convertible $19.95/day (group K) Minivan $24.95/day (group V) Passenger Van $41.95/day (group P) This offer excludes pick-up from Pensacola and Jacksonville. Participating drop off cities include: Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, San Antonio, St. Louis, Boston, Buffalo, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Washington/Baltimore, Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Raleigh Durham, Albuquerque, Northern California, Portland, Seattle, Southern California, Las Vegas. Rates are valid for a max of 14-consecutive-days. Taxes, concession recovery fees, vehicle license recovery fee, customer facility charges may apply and are extra. Optional products such as LDW ($29.99/day or less) — which Clark says you should never get because you may already have coverage through a credit card or auto insurance policy —  and refueling are extra. Book here. Alamo deals Offer valid for reservations picked up between March 26 and May 31 from the following participating Florida locations: Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Naples and Punta Gorda. Offer valid for reservations picked up between April 1 and May 31 at the following participating Florida locations: Tampa, Clearwater, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm, Key West and Boca Raton. Here are the per day rates: $14.95 applies to Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Standard and Full-Size vehicles $19.95 on Intermediate and Standard SUVs $24.95 for Minivans Book here. Clark’s recent cheap car rental experience Competing car rental agencies will likely roll out rates similar to those you saw above in the weeks ahead. We’ll keep this list updated, so check back often! But if you want to be ahead of the curve, money expert Clark Howard advises calling around to a few agencies that are located at airports several weeks before a peak travel time to ask if they’re participating in these kinds of deals and where they need their cars moved. Because of the cheap price, there will be a lot of restrictions on these deals — plus additional taxes and fees. But if you can make it work, this is a real steal. Last year, Clark snagged one of these deals and would up paying $26.01 for a two-day rental of a Toyota RAV 4 with unlimited mileage. He was originally quoted $7.99 a day for the vehicle. But then when you add in the junk fees, it soon becomes $26.01. And get this…he could have had that rate for two weeks if he needed it! Clark says RentalCars.com is a good website you can use to get an initial sense about whether or not this method of landing a cheap ride could work for you. Clark Howard pays $7.14 a day for a rental car ' data-medium-file='https://coxclarkcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/clark2.jpg?w=281' data-large-file='https://coxclarkcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/clark2.jpg?w=616&h=657' class='size-large wp-image-52401' src='https://coxclarkcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/clark2.jpg?w=616&h=657' alt='Clark Howard pays $7.14 a day for a rental car' width='616' height='657' srcset='https://coxclarkcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/clark2.jpg?w=616&h=657 616w, https://coxclarkcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/clark2.jpg?w=141&h=150 141w, https://coxclarkcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/clark2.jpg?w=281&h=300 281w, https://coxclarkcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/clark2.jpg 698w' sizes='(max-width: 616px) 100vw, 616px' style='max-width: 100%'> RELATED: Just how safe is your hotel room safe? 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  • Nearly 705,000 people worldwide – including more than 135,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals brace for unprecedented patient surges. Live updates for Sunday, March 29, continue below: Insurers Cigna, Humana waive coronavirus treatment costs Update 11:18 p.m. EDT March 29: Two of the country’s largest health insurance companies said they will waive customers coronavirus treatment costs. Cigna and Humana said they would cover costs, including hospitalizations, ambulance transfers and co-pays, CNBC reported. “Our customers with COVID-19 should focus on fighting this virus and preventing its spread,” David Cordani, Cigna president, said in a statement. “While our customers focus on regaining their health, we have their backs.” The waiver will also include medications and vaccines when they are available, CNBC reported. “We’re taking this significant action to help ease the burden on seniors and others who are struggling right now. No American should be concerned about the cost of care when being treated for coronavirus,” Bruce Broussard, president of Humana said in a statement. Michigan Rep. Isaac Robinson dead from suspected coronavirus infection Update 10:44 p.m. EDT March 29: Michigan state Rep. Isaac Robinson, who represented part of Detroit, died from a suspected coronavirus infection. He went to the hospital Sunday morning after having trouble breathing the last couple days and died hours later, WXYZ reported. “He wouldn’t go to the hospital. I kept insisting the last three days. I kept saying, ‘You should go to the doctor, go to the hospital.’ Of course, he resisted,” his mother, Rose Mary Robinson, told Crain’s Detroit Business. “Tough guy.” Robinson, 44, had not been tested for the coronavirus, Crain’s reported. Robinson, a Democrat, was elected in 2018. He was serving his first term in the seat previously held by his mother, the Detroit Free Press reported. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer offered her condolences. “He dedicated his career to ensuring justice and security for those he served, and the impact he had on his community will continue to be felt for years to come,” Whitmer said on social media. “Rep. Robinson will be missed by many, including me. It was an honor to serve the people of Michigan alongside him.” There are more than 1,500 confirmed cases in Michigan, according to state health officials. Amazon workers plan strike at New York facility  Update 8:57 p.m. EDT March 29: Amazon employees at a New York facility plan to walkout Monday amid concerns about safety as the coronavirus spreads. As many as seven workers have tested positive for the coronavirus at the Staten Island, New York, facility, CNN reported. “The plan is to cease all operations until the building is closed and sanitized,” Christian Smalls, an assistant manager leading the strike, told CNN. “We’re not asking for much. We’re asking the building to be closed and sanitized, and for us to be paid.” The strike could involve 50 to 200 employees, CNN reported. Amazon did not immediately comment. The Amazon employees are not the first to threaten a strike as the coronavirus spreads. Instacart shoppers said they will strike Monday after asking for additional compensation and safety precautions. There are more than 142,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., according to a Johns Hopkins map. First person in West Virginia dies from virus Update 7:39 p.m. EDT March 29: The first person in West Virginia has died from the coronavirus, health officials said Sunday. An 88-year-old woman from Marion County died, the state Department of Health and Human Resources said in a release. No other details were released. “We extend our sincere condolences to this family,” department Secretary Bill J. Crouch said in a statement. West Virginia was the last U.S. state to report a confirmed case. Hawaii and Wyoming are the only states that have no reported coronavirus deaths. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Trump extends social distancing guidelines another 30 days Update 6:36 p.m. EDT March 29: President Donald Trump on Sunday extended the federal guidelines for isolating for an additional 30 days in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The social distancing and stay-at-home guidelines were set to expire Monday. Health officials said the rollback would increase transmission of the virus. Trump said last week he hoped to have the country “reopened” by April 12. The Associated Press contributed to this report.  Musician John Prine hospitalized with virus symptoms, ‘critical’  Update 5:49 p.m. EDT March 29: Musician John Prine is hospitalized with symptoms of the coronavirus. He was taken to a hospital Thursday and was intubated Saturday, the Prine family said on social media. “His situation is critical,” the Prine family said in a statement. “This is hard news for us to share. But so many of you have loved and supported John over the years, we wanted to let you know, and give you the chance to send on more of that love and support now.” Resident at Maryland nursing home dies from virus Update 5:36 p.m. EDT March 29: A resident at a Maryland nursing home where an outbreak of the coronavirus infected 66 people has died. The 90-year-old man was a resident at Pleasant View Nursing Home. He died Saturday, The Associated Press reported. Health officials said Sunday that the number of cases has not changed. There are still 66 residents who have tested positive and 11 who were hospitalized. The nursing home is seeing staff shortages, as employees are not coming into work. No staff member has tested positive. Country music star Joe Diffie dies from complications caused by virus Update 4:39 p.m. EDT March 29: Oklahoma-born country music star Joe Diffie died Sunday from coronavirus-related issues, according to his Facebook page. His family has asked for privacy at this time. Worldwide cases top 700,000; US cases at 135,000 Update 3:29 p.m. EDT March 29: The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus topped 710,000 Sunday, according to the Coronavirus Resources Center at Johns Hopkins University. The number of cases in the United States has now passed 135,000, the website reported. The total number of cases passed 705,000 worldwide, and more than 33,000 people have died from COVID-19. according to the Resources Center. Sunday morning, the World Health Organization reported 638,146 confirmed cases across 203 countries, with 30,105 deaths. Moscow mayor issues quarantine order Update 2:57 p.m. EDT March 29: Moscow’s mayor issued a citywide quarantine starting that will begin Monday, The Washington Post reported. The stay-at-home order by Mayor Sergei Sobyanin came after the Russian capital’s confirmed cases of coronavirus topped 1,000, the newspaper reported. Residents are allowed to leave their homes for groceries or to pick up medical supplies, the Post reported. People are also allowed to take out their trash or walk their dogs within 100 feet of their residences, the newspaper reported. Cuomo: Death toll in New York state approaching 1,000 Update 2:02 p.m. EDT March 29: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his state’s death toll because of the coronavirus is approaching 1,000, The New York Times reported. Cuomo put the number of disease-related deaths at 965, an increase from 728 in the last 24 hours, the newspaper reported. The majority of COVID-19 related deaths have occurred in New York City. At a news conference, Cuomo said figures released Sunday morning showed 678 coronavirus deaths in the city, the Times reported. Justin Trudeau will continue to self-isolate at home Update 1:33 p.m. EDT March 29: Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, said he will continue to self-isolate at home even though his wife has recovered from the coronavirus, The New York Times reported. Trudeau said he will continue to remain in isolation because he was living with someone who tested positive, the newspaper reported. Trudeau said his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, took their three children to the prime minister’s summer residence in Harrington Lake, Quebec, the Times reported. Plane evacuating patient crashes at Manila airport, killing 8 Update 12:34 a.m. EDT March 29: An plane on a medical evacuation mission headed for Tokyo crashed at Manila airport Sunday night, killing all eight people on board, The Washington Post reported. One American, one Canadian and six Filipinos were killed, according to Richard Gordon, the Philippines’ Red Cross chairman and a member of the Senate. Details of the medical mission were unclear, authorities said. “There was no confirmation or denial about the situation of the passenger,” Ed Monreal, general manager of Manila International Airport Authority, told the Post. Mnuchin: Expect stimulus check deposits within 3 weeks from Sunday Update 11:28 a.m. EDT March 29: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters at the White House that Americans can expect direct deposit of their checks from the stimulus bill in their accounts within three weeks from Sunday, CNN reported. Mnuchin also said small businesses should “Go back and hire your workers because the government is paying you to do that.' “(My) number one objective is now delivering to the American workers and American companies the needed money that will put this economy in a position where it get through the next eight-10 weeks,” Mnuchin said. Fauci predicts US could have more than 100K deaths Update 10:30 a.m. EDT March 29: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday the United States could have “millions of cases” of COVID-19 and more than 100,000 deaths, according to an Associated Press report. Fauci made the prediction while speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” program Sunday morning. The U.S. is currently reporting more than 124,700 cases and more than 2,100 deaths, the AP reported. UK announces 209 more deaths in past 24 hours Update 10:18 a.m. EDT March 29: There have been another 209 coronavirus related deaths in the United Kingdom over past 24 hours, Public Health England said Sunday. That puts the total death toll at 1,228, and there are 19,522 confirmed cases in the UK. US civil rights office working to prevent discrimination Update 9:57 a.m. EDT March 29: Roger Severino, the director of the U.S. health department’s civil rights office, said his department is opening investigations to ensure states do not allow medical providers to discriminate in deciding who receives medical care during the coronavirus pandemic. According to The New York Times, the probes will examine whether providers have been discriminated against on the basis of disabilities, race, age or certain other factors. “Our civil rights laws protect the equal dignity of every human life from ruthless utilitarianism,” Severino said in a statement. People with disabilities “should not be put at the end of the line for health care during emergencies,” the statement said. Severino told the Times his office had heard from “a broad spectrum of civil rights groups, pro-life groups, disability rights groups, from prominent members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, from ordinary people who are concerned about their civil rights in this time of crisis.” India’s prime minister apologizes to nation’s poor Update 9:46 a.m. EDT March 29: India’s prime minister asled the nation’s poor for forgiveness after a nationwide lockdown forced thousands of jobless laborers to walk from cities to their home villages. “I extend a heartfelt apology to all countrymen,” Narendra Modi said in a nationwide radio address, The Washington Post reported. “When it comes to my underprivileged brothers and sisters, they must be wondering about the kind of prime minister they have, who has pushed them to the brink. My wholehearted apologies, especially to them.” Modi’s government announced a $22.6 billion stimulus plan Thursday, the newspaper reported. Vietnam plans to halt incoming flights for 2 weeks Update 9:28 a.m. EDT March 29: to a government report released Sunday, Vietnam will halt incoming passenger flights over the next two weeks, CNN reported. Flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to other locations will also be reduced, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said. Netherlands rejects 600K defective masks made in China Update 8:52 a.m. EDT March 29: Health authorities in The Netherlands rejected approximately 600,000 Chinese-made masks from hospitals after learning they did not adequately protect health workers from the coronavirus, The Washington Post reported. Dutch health authorities that represented about half of a recent shipment of 1.3 million masks, according to NOS, the Dutch public broadcaster. “Due to shortages, we can find ourselves in a situation where the only protective equipment that is available does not meet the highest standards. This is an issue in all countries,” the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport said in a statement to NOS. The number of people who have tested positive in The Netherlands topped 10,000, the Dutch Ministry of Health said Sunday. Mexico tells citizens to stay home until April 19 Update 8:41 a.m. EDT March 29: Mexican health authorities asked citizens to help prevent the spread of coronavirus by staying home until April 19, according to CNN. “This can’t be postponed, it is our last chance to do it and do it now,' Mexican deputy health secretary Hugo López-Gatell said. 'And this requires that we massively restrict ourselves and stay at home.” Health authorities said there are 848 confirmed coronavirus cases and 16 deaths in Mexico. Spain reports record-high 838 deaths in one day Update 7:01 a.m. EDT March 29: Spain has reported that 838 people died from coronavirus in one day, marking a new, grim daily record for the country, officials said Sunday. According to The Associated Press, Spain saw more than 6,500 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, bringing its total number of cases to 78,797. The country’s 6,528-person death toll is the second-highest worldwide, the AP reported. Italy has reported the highest number of deaths, with 10,023, according to Johns Hopkins University. Canadian PM Trudeau’s wife recovers from virus Update 5:36 a.m. EDT March 29: The wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has recovered from coronavirus, she announced Saturday. According to The Associated Press, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau took to Facebook on Saturday night to share the news. “I wanted to give you all an update: I am feeling so much better and have received the all clear from my physician and Ottawa Public Health,” she wrote. “From the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you to everyone who reached out to me with their well wishes. And to everyone who is suffering right now, I send you all my love.” >> See the post here Gregoire Trudeau tested positive for COVID-19 after she traveled from London back to Canada, her husband’s office said on March 12. Trudeau and the couple’s three children have been self-isolating and have not noticed any symptoms, the AP reported. CDC issues travel advisory for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut Update 4:46 a.m. EDT March 29: President Donald Trump has decided against seeking a quarantine for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, opting instead to ask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “to issue a strong travel advisory” for the states, he tweeted Saturday night. “A quarantine will not be necessary,” Trump added. >> See the tweets here The advisory, which now appears on the CDC’s website, “urges residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately.” “This Domestic Travel Advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services and food supply,” the advisory reads. The states’ governors “will have full discretion to implement” the advisory, the website says. >> See the CDC’s tweets here Nordstrom partners with furniture store to produce more than 100,000 face masks Update 3:46 a.m. EDT March 29: After Seattle-based Providence Health put out a global request for more personal protective equipment for doctors, nurses and other health care workers, Washington state manufacturer Kaas Tailored and retail giant Nordstrom partnered together to answer the high demand. As part of Providence’s 100 Million Mask challenge, Kaas and Nordstrom are producing daily personal face masks and face shields at their facilities. Nordstrom recently partnered with Kaas, a Mukilteo furniture store, to make the masks. Members of the Nordstrom alteration teams in California, Oregon, Texas and Washington will be sewing more than 100,000 masks to be distributed to Providence Health in Seattle. Kaas Tailored typically makes furniture for aerospace clients. Founder Dan Kaas told KIRO-TV earlier this week it didn’t take long to setup an action plan after answering Providence’s call. “I said, ‘Hey, do you need help?’ and about five minutes later she texted me saying, ‘Yeah, we want to talk.’ And that was Wednesday, and there was a plan put in place by the end of the day,” Kaas said in an interview with KIRO′s Rob Munoz. In an online video posted to the Kaas Tailored website, Kaas details its new Essential PPE Network Equation, how it’s going about meeting the demands of the mask production and the structure working with other manufactures who also want to help. Kaas Tailored is continuing to make thousands of masks a day, but said it’s working at full capacity and cannot fill new orders at this time. Providence is referring manufacturers in Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Texas and Washington that are interested in making PPEs to reach out to Kaas. Manufacturers in other states that want to help make face masks can reach out to the American Hospital Association. Nordstrom will continue to offer additional support to local partners the Seattle Foundation, YouthCare and Hetrick Martin Institute. Nordstrom is also donating 1% of its gift card sales to support community grants and programs during the coronavirus relief efforts. Country singer Joe Diffie tests positive for COVID-19 Update 3:08 a.m. EDT March 29: Country music star Joe Diffie has tested positive for coronavirus, he announced on social media. In a Friday Instagram post, the Grammy Award-winning singer said he's being treated for the virus, which had infected about 665,000 people worldwide and more than 124,000 in the United States by Sunday morning. 'My family and I are asking for privacy at this time,' the statement read. 'We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic.' >> See the post here According to The Associated Press, Diffie, 61, is best known for songs such as 'Honky Tonk Attitude' and 'Third Rock From the Sun.' He joins a growing list of celebrities and public figures who have tested positive for COVID-19, including Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Idris Elba, Harvey Weinstein, Jackson Browne, Placido Domingo, Britain's Prince Charles and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Samaritan’s Purse helps New York amid coronavirus pandemic Update 2:14 a.m. EDT March 29: The North Carolina-based organization Samaritan’s Purse is now bringing relief to New York amid the coronavirus pandemic. New York’s hospital system is already overwhelmed with patients. The group shipped a 68-bed field hospital with a special respiratory care unit Saturday. The organization said an advanced team got to New York on March 27 to begin assessments and prepare the site. “People are dying from the coronavirus, hospitals are out of beds and the medical staff are overwhelmed,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “We are deploying our emergency field hospital to New York to help carry this burden.” This comes a week after Samaritan’s Purse opened an identical unit in Cremona, Italy. U.S. cases soar past 124,000, including more than 2,100 deaths Update 12:49 a.m. EDT March 29: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States soared past 124,000 across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands early Sunday. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 124,464 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 2,191 deaths. Worldwide, there are 664,695 confirmed cases and 30,847 deaths from the virus. U.S. cases outnumber those in any other nation, including the 92,472 reported in Italy and the 82,057 confirmed in China. Of the confirmed deaths, 834 have occurred in New York, 189 in Washington state, 140 in New Jersey and 137 in Louisiana. In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest-hit with at least 53,520 confirmed cases, followed by New Jersey with 11,124 and California with 5,636. Four other states have each confirmed at least 4,000 novel coronavirus cases, including: • Michigan: 4,658, including 112 deaths • Washington: 4,310, including 189 deaths • Massachusetts: 4,257, including 44 deaths • Florida: 4,038, including 56 deaths Meanwhile, Illinois and Louisiana have confirmed at least 3,000 novel coronavirus infections each, while Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia and Colorado have confirmed at least 2,000 cases each.
  • Amazon employees at a New York facility plan to walk out Monday amid concerns about safety as the coronavirus spreads. As many as seven workers have tested positive for the coronavirus at the Staten Island, New York, facility, CNN reported. “The plan is to cease all operations until the building is closed and sanitized,” Christian Smalls, an assistant manager leading the strike, told CNN. “We’re not asking for much. We’re asking the building to be closed and sanitized, and for us to be paid.” The strike could involve 50 to 200 employees, CNN reported. Amazon did not immediately comment. The Amazon employees are not the first to threaten a strike as the coronavirus spreads. Instacart shoppers said they will strike Monday after asking for additional compensation and safety precautions. There are more than 142,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., according to a Johns Hopkins map.
  • The wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has recovered from coronavirus, she announced Saturday. According to The Associated Press, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau took to Facebook on Saturday night to share the news. “I wanted to give you all an update: I am feeling so much better and have received the all clear from my physician and Ottawa Public Health,” she wrote. “From the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you to everyone who reached out to me with their well wishes. And to everyone who is suffering right now, I send you all my love.” >> See the post here Gregoire Trudeau, 44, tested positive for COVID-19 after she traveled from London back to Canada, her husband’s office said on March 12. Trudeau, 48, and the couple’s three children have been self-isolating and have not noticed any symptoms, the AP reported. As of Sunday morning, more than 5,600 coronavirus cases and 61 deaths have been reported in Canada, according to Johns Hopkins University. Read more here.
  • Nearly 622,000 people worldwide -- including nearly 105,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals brace for unprecedented patient surges. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Saturday, March 28, continue below: First federal inmate dies from virus Update 10:17 p.m. EDT March 28: The first federal inmate in custody has died from the coronavirus, officials said on Saturday. Patrick Jones, 49, an inmate at the Federal Corrections Institution in Oakdale, Louisiana, complained of a persistent cough March 19, CBS News reported. While at the hospital, he tested positive March 20 for the coronavirus. Jones, who has pre-existing conditions, was put on a ventilator. He died Saturday. He was serving a 27-year sentence for possession with intent to sell crack cocaine. More than 10 inmates have been taken to the hospital and at least 60 others are in isolation, The New York Times reported. Instacart employees plan strike over safety fears Update 10:17 p.m. EDT March 28: Instacart employees are planning to strike Monday over fears that they are exposing themselves to risk of the coronavirus and are not being adequately protected or compensated by their company. “Instacart has a well established history of exploiting its Shoppers, one that extends years back before our current crisis,” Instacart employees and Gig Workers Collective, an activist organization, wrote in a letter posted on Medium. “Now, its mistreatment of Shoppers has stooped to an all-time low. They are profiting astronomically off of us literally risking our lives, all while refusing to provide us with effective protection, meaningful pay, and meaningful benefits.” Employees are asking for an additional $5 on each order and personal protection equipment provided at no cost, including hand sanitizer and disinfectant sprays. It not unclear how many employees would participate. More than 200,000 people work as shoppers for the company, The New York Times reported. The company had plans to hire thousands more amid demand for delivery while people are quarantined and isolating. Instacart announced earlier this week new safety guidelines and said it would increase bonuses for its shoppers and extend sick and quarantine pay. “The health and safety of our entire community – shoppers, customers and employees – is our highest priority,” the company said in a statement, KNTV reported. 66 residents at Maryland nursing home test positive for virus Update 9:07 p.m. EDT March 28: A coronavirus outbreak has doubled the cases in Maryland after 66 residents at a nursing home tested positive for the deadly virus. Eleven of the 66 residents at Pleasant View Nursing Home have been hospitalized, WBAL reported. “Multiple state agencies are on the scene and working closely with the local health department & the facility to protect additional residents and staff who may have been exposed,” Gov. Larry Hogan said on social media. There have been 10 deaths in the state. US death toll surpasses 2,000, doubling in two days Update 6:39 p.m. EDT March 28:  More than 2,000 U.S. citizens have died from the coronavirus as of Saturday, the death toll doubling in about 48 hours, the Washington Post reported. The time between the first confirmed death and the 1,000th was about a month. There are nearly 120,000 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S., according to a Johns Hopkins map. More than 30,000 people have died from the coronavirus worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins. Columbia Sportswear CEO cuts salary to $10,000 Update 5:59 p.m. EDT March 28: Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle has cut his salary to $10,000 while employees will continue to receive their regular pay. At least 10 other top executives took a voluntary 15% pay cut, The Oregonian reported. The company’s nearly 3,500 employees are receiving their regular paychecks through a “catastrophic pay” program while its stores are closed amid the coronavirus outbreak. The stores closed March 16 and will remain shuttered at least another two weeks. Boyle was paid $3.3 million in total compensation in 2018, The Oregonian reported. Infant in Illinois dies from virus Update 4:24 p.m. EDT March 28: An infant less than a year old died from the coronavirus in Illinois. The child is one of 13 new deaths in the state, health officials said Saturday. “There has never before been a death associated with COVID-19 in an infant. A full investigation is underway to determine the cause of death,” state Health Department Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. If not to protect ourselves, but to protect those around us.” In China, a 10-month-old died from the coronavirus, the New England Journal of Medicine reported March 18. There are 3,491 cases of the coronavirus and 47 deaths in Illinois, according to health officials. Ireland imposes strict lockdown order Update 3:42 p.m. EDT March 28: Ireland’s prime minister announced a lockdown with strict restrictions in the country Saturday, The New York Times reported. “Freedom was hard-won in our country, and it jars with us to restrict and limit individual liberties, even temporarily,” Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said in an address to the nation. As of early Saturday, Ireland had reported 2,121 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and 22 deaths, the Times reported. From midnight until at least April 12, Ireland’s residents have been ordered to stay at home except to travel to essential jobs, medical appointments, family care or “brief” exercise, according to the newspaper. Trump goes to Virginia, sends off Navy ship bound for NYC Update 2:49 p.m. EDT March 28: President Donald Trump spoke in Front of the USNS Comfort in Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday, before the Navy hospital ship before it departed for New York City. “This great ship behind me is a 70,000-ton message of hope and solidarity to the incredible people of New York,” Trump said. Trump said the ship would not treat patients with coronavirus, but will provide aid for people with other urgent care needs, CNN reported. “Their mission will be to care for New Yorkers who do not have the virus but who require urgent care,' Trump said. “In other words, they’ll be using this, people will be coming out of hospitals who don’t have the virus and they’ll be on this ship where they have great operating rooms and great facilities and the places in-bound, on land will be where people that have the virus will be.” RI governor confirms 2 deaths, issues stay-at-home order Update 2:06 p.m. EDT March 28: Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo confirmed the first two deaths in the state and issued a stay-at-home order, telling citizens they could still make necessary trips for food, gasoline or medicine, the Providence Journal reported. Raimondo also ordered anyone entering the state by any means to self-quarantine for 14 days, she said at a news conference. The governor also said all “non-essential” retail outlets will close Monday until April 13, “These are the first deaths and certainly will not be the last two,” Raimondo said. “This is for me and for all of us, this a reminder of the stakes that we face.” Kansas gov. Kelly issues stay-at-home order Update 1:32 p.m. EDT March 28: At a news conference, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued a stay-at-home order for the state beginning Monday at 12:01 p.m. “As we speak, well over half of Kansas’ population falls under a local stay at home order of some kind. Even without the executive order I’m issuing today, Kansas’ most populous counties have already issued local state orders to their communities,' Kelly said at the news conference. “As governor, I left these decisions to local health departments for as long as possible. But the reality is that a patchwork approach is a recipe for confusion in our statewide fight to slow the spread of coronavirus that statewide uniformity will ensure. We’re all playing by the same rules, and it would help prevent an influx of new cases for local health departments, many of which are already stretched to max.” Cuomo: NY presidential primary moved to June 23 Update 12:39 p.m. EDT March 28: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a news conference that the state’s presidential primary, scheduled for April 28, will be postponed until April 28. Cuomo said the prospect of many people congregating to vote in April was not wise. “I don’t think it’s wise to be bringing a lot of people to one location to vote,” Cuomo said. “A lot of people touching one doorknob, a lot of people touching one pen, whatever you call the new device on the ballots.” Cuomo also extended the tax filing deadline in the state to July 15. “This is good news for individuals, for businesses. You don’t have to file your state tax return. You file it with the federal tax return on July 15,' Cuomo said. “It’s bad news for the state of New York on a parochial level. That means we receive no revenue coming in until July 15.' UN to donate 250K protective masks to hospitals in NYC Update 12:29 p.m. EDT March 28: United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres said the organization will donate 250,000 protective face masks to medical facilities in New York City, CNN reported. The masks will be given to medical professionals “who have been working courageously, selflessly, and tirelessly in response to the spread of COVID-19 across the boroughs in the hope that they play some small role in saving lives,” Guterres said in a statement Saturday. UK death toll tops 1,000; Johnson tweets, ‘We’ll beat this' Update 11:02 a.m. EDT March 28: The death toll from the coronavirus in the United Kingdom passed the 1,000 mark, according to figures released by the country’s Department of Health and Social Care. That is an increase of 260 people, with the total at 1,019, according to the BBC. On Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted, “We’re going to beat it, and we’re going to beat it together.' Johnson tested positive for coronavirus Friday. “Thank you to everybody who’s doing what I’m doing, working from home and stopping the virus spreading from household to household,' Johnson tweeted. Death toll surges in Spain, Italy Update 9:31 a.m. EDT March 28: Spain and Italy reported record numbers in the death tolls in their countries. Spanish officials reported 832 new deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing its total to 5,690, The New York Times reported. Spain also reported that 12,248 people have recovered from the virus, the newspaper reported. Italian officials said 969 people have died in the past day, bringing its total to 9,134, the Times reported. Trump approves Michigan’s request for disaster relief Update 9:31 a.m. EDT March 28: The White House announced Saturday that President Donald Trump approved Michigan’s request for a disaster declaration. “Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Michigan and ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected,” the White House said in a statement. The declaration means federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments, the statement said. Certain private nonprofit organizations also will be eligible for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, for areas in Michigan impacted by coronavirus. South Korea says 3 test-kit makers win FDA preapproval Update 8:42 a.m. EDT March 28: South Korea’s foreign ministry said three test-kit makers in the country have won preapproval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The move paves the way for kits to be sent to the United States, The New York Times reported. The ministry did not name the manufacturers but said the preapproval, under emergency use authorization, allowed the products to be sold in the United States, the newspaper reported. Global coronavirus deaths top 28K, worldwide cases near 608K Update 7:35 a.m. EDT March 28: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus hit 28,125 early Saturday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. In the three months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 607,965 people worldwide. • The United States has reported 104,837 confirmed cases, resulting in 1,711 deaths. • Italy has confirmed 86,498 cases, resulting in 9,134 deaths. • China has recorded 81,996 cases, resulting in 3,299 deaths. • Spain has confirmed 65,719 infections, resulting in 5,138 deaths. • Germany has reported 53,340 cases, resulting in 395 deaths. • Iran has recorded 35,408 cases, resulting in 2,517 deaths. • France has confirmed 33,414 infections, resulting in 1,997 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 14,754 cases, resulting in 761 deaths. • Switzerland has confirmed 13,187 cases, resulting in 240 deaths. • South Korea has recorded 9,478 cases, resulting in 144 deaths. Japanese PM warms of ‘explosive spread’ of coronavirus threatening urban hubs Update 7:20 a.m. EDT March 28: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a stern warning during a Saturday news conference, urging citizens to prepare for a “long-term battle” as the novel coronavirus threatens an “explosive spread” across the country. The Washington Post, citing Japanese media coverage of the news conference, reported Abe said cases of unknown origin are spiking, especially in the urban hubs of Tokyo and Osaka. “An uncontrollable chain of infection could lead to explosive spread somewhere,” he said. Abe’s comments came one day after Japan recorded its largest single-day spike in new cases of 123, bringing the nationwide total to 1,499 and 49 deaths. Nearly half of those newest cases were detected in Tokyo. New coronavirus cases spike in South Korea following steady decline Update 5:13 a.m. EDT March 28: Following a week of significantly decreased volume, South Korea reported a spike of 146 new coronavirus infections on Saturday. According to the nation’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the new cases bring South Korea’s total infections to 9,478, but Friday’s uptick stood in stark contrast to the fewer than 105 cases reported each day for the past week. On a more positive note, the country’s CDC confirmed only about 4,500 coronavirus patients remain isolated for treatment, while more than 4,800 patients have been deemed recovered and discharged from isolation. Italy’s coronavirus cases surpass those in China Update 5:07 a.m. EDT March 28: The number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Italy has reached 86,498, making it the second nation in as many days to surpass China’s total of 81,946. The United States eclipsed China’s infection total on Thursday – and currently reports slightly under 105,000 confirmed cases – but Italy’s death toll continues to climb as the outbreak ravages Europe.  Health officials confirmed 969 virus-related deaths in Italy on Friday, alone, making it the largest single-day death toll recorded by an country since the pandemic began. To date, the nation has reported a total of 9,134 fatalities, followed by Spain with 5,138 deaths and China with 3,295. U.S. Navy locks down Yokosuka base after sailors test positive for coronavirus Update 3:31 a.m. EDT March 28: The U.S. Navy has ordered a lockdown of its Yokosuka base after recording its second and third cases of novel coronavirus on Friday. The strategic Pacific base houses the Seventh Fleet. In a video posted to Facebook, Yokosuka Capt. Rich Jarrett encouraged residents on base to remain in their quarters “maximum extent possible.” “This is not a time to do lawn maintenance, take the dog for a long walk or go for a run. Time outdoors should be for necessities only and should be conducted as quickly as possible,” Jarrett posted in a Saturday morning update. Ginnie Mae poised to ease mortgage firms’ coronavirus fallout Update 3:18 a.m. EDT March 28: Mortgage firms are bracing for the crunch when borrowers begin falling behind on their payments, and Ginnie Mae sits poised to assist them in weathering the financial fallout of he novel coronavirus pandemic, The Wall Street Journal reported. Ginnie Mae, which already guarantees more than $2 trillion of mortgage-backed securities, told the Journal late Friday it will help companies such as Quicken Loans Inc. and Mr. Cooper Group Inc. with their anticipated cashflow interruptions. The agency will leverage a program typically reserved for natural disaster response. Read more here. Duke University develops N95 mask decontamination method to assist coronavirus fight Update 3:03 a.m. EDT March 28: Duke University researchers in North Carolina have developed a method for cleaning used N95 respirator masks, CNN reported. By Friday night, Duke’s Regional Biocontainment Laboratory team had already decontaminated hundreds of used N95 respirators without damaging them, so they can be re-worn several times, the network reported. More importantly, the researchers published their decontamination protocol, encouraging other medical centers and research facilities to follow suit. Specifically, the method uses vaporized hydrogen peroxide to kill microbial contaminants, CNN reported. Read more here. Trump issues order allowing Pentagon to reactivate former troops for coronavirus response Update 2:40 a.m. EDT March 28: U.S. President Donald Trump issued an order late Friday allowing the Pentagon to return certain troops to active duty in response to the mounting coronavirus crisis, The Washington Post reported. According to the Post, the order allows for the reactivation of former U.S. troops and members of the National Guard and Reserve to bolster the military’s ongoing efforts to help contain the virus’ spread. “Generally, these members will be persons in Headquarters units and persons with high demand medical capabilities whose call-up would not adversely affect their civilian communities,” chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said in a statement released early Saturday morning. Read more here. MLB, players strike deal should coronavirus cancel 2020 baseball season Update 2:14 a.m. EDT March 28: Major League Baseball owners and players ratified a deal Friday that sets terms should the novel coronavirus pandemic postpone or even cancel the 2020 season. According to NPR, players will be paid $170 million in advanced salaries over the next two months, and should the season ultimately be canceled, the advances will not have to be paid back. Meanwhile, players will receive “service time” credit for an entire year even if they only play portions of the 2020 season. The season had been slated to open Thursday and run through late October, NPR reported. Delta offering medical volunteers free flights to emerging US coronavirus hotspots Update 1:57 a.m. EDT March 28: Delta Air Lines announced Friday it will fly select medical workers to areas of the country hardest hit by the novel coronavirus for free. By early Saturday morning, the company had confirmed free, round-trip Delta flights will be offered to certain medical volunteers bound for Georgia, Louisiana and Michigan during the month of April. State-by-state breakdown of 101,242 US coronavirus cases, 1,588 deaths Update 12:44 a.m. EDT March 28: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States soared past 104,000 across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands early Saturday morning. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 104,661 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 1,706 deaths. U.S. cases now outnumber those in any other nation, including the 86,498 reported in Italy and the 81,946 confirmed in China. Of the confirmed deaths, 519 have occurred in New York, 175 Washington state and 119 in Louisiana.  In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest hit with at least 44,635 confirmed cases – more than five times any other state – followed by New Jersey with 8,825 and California with 3,801. Five other states have each confirmed at least 3,000 novel coronavirus cases, including: • Washington: 3,723, including 175 deaths • Michigan: 3,657, including 92 deaths • Massachusetts: 3,240, including 35 deaths • Florida: 3,192, including 45 deaths • Illinois: 3,026, including 34 deaths Meanwhile, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Georgia each has confirmed at least 2,000 novel coronavirus infections, while Colorado, Texas, Connecticut, Tennessee and Ohio each has confirmed at least 1,000 cases. The figures include 21 people aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship and 49 repatriated citizens. The repatriations include 46 sickened aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship and three others retrieved from the outbreak’s epicenter in Wuhan, China. CNN’s state-by-state breakdown – including presumptive cases – of at least 101,242 cases detected on U.S. soil is as follows: • Alabama: 638, including 3 deaths • Alaska: 69, including 1 death • Arizona: 665, including 13 deaths • Arkansas: 386, including 3 deaths • California: 3,801, including 78 deaths • Colorado: 1,734, including 31 deaths • Connecticut: 1,291, including 27 deaths • Delaware: 163, including 2 deaths • District of Columbia: 267, including three deaths • Florida: 3,192, including 45 deaths • Georgia: 2,198, including 65 deaths • Guam: 49, including 1 death • Hawaii: 120 • Idaho: 230, including 4 deaths • Illinois: 3,026, including 34 deaths • Indiana: 981, including 24 deaths • Iowa: 235, including 3 deaths • Kansas: 202, including 4 deaths • Kentucky: 302, including 7 deaths • Louisiana: 2,746, including 119 deaths • Maine: 168, including 1 death • Maryland: 774, including 5 deaths • Massachusetts: 3,240, including 35 deaths • Michigan: 3,657, including 92 deaths • Minnesota: 398, including 4 deaths • Mississippi: 579, including 8 deaths • Missouri: 670, including 9 deaths • Montana: 109, including 1 death • Nebraska: 89, including 2 deaths • Nevada: 535, including 10 deaths • New Hampshire: 187, including 2 deaths • New Jersey: 8,825, including 108 deaths • New Mexico: 191, including 1 death • New York: 44,635, including 519 deaths • North Carolina: 763, including 3 deaths • North Dakota: 68, including 1 death • Ohio: 1,137, including 19 deaths • Oklahoma: 322, including 8 deaths • Oregon: 414, including 12 deaths • Pennsylvania: 2,218, including 22 deaths • Puerto Rico: 64, including 2 deaths • Rhode Island: 203 • South Carolina: 539, including 13 deaths • South Dakota: 58, including 1 death • Tennessee: 1,203, including 6 deaths • Texas: 1,731, including 23 deaths • U.S. Virgin Islands: 19 • Utah: 480, including 2 deaths • Vermont: 184, including 10 deaths • Virginia: 604, including 14 deaths • Washington: 3,723, including 175 deaths • West Virginia: 96 • Wisconsin: 842, including 13 deaths • Wyoming: 70
  • American Airlines flight attendants are sharing their concerns after one of their co-workers tested positive for the coronavirus and then died. Paul Frishkorn, 65, was a Philadelphia-based flight attendant for American Airlines. Officials said he had other health issues that made him a higher-risk patient. On Friday, two separate American Airlines flight attendants told Channel 9 they have major concerns about the safety of employees and customers. They believe the airline should suspend flights for a few weeks to help the nation fight the virus. “They’re completely out of the hand sanitizing wipes, the Clorox wipes that we get on board,” said one American Airlines flight attendant, who asked to remain anonymous. “So, we have nothing to clean surfaces.' Both flight attendants said it wasn’t until this week that the airline limited food and drink service to passengers and allowed them to wear gloves and face masks. They said the changes come too late. In a written statement, one flight attendant said, “I’m scared to bring something home to my family.' American announced a decision Friday to reduce its schedule due to reduced customer demand. A spokesperson said wearing face masks and gloves isn’t recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the airline relaxed the rules to help flight attendants. It also took several steps to reduce flight attendant interaction with customers: Regarding cleaning supplies, a spokesperson said, 'Though these items are in high demand, we are currently provisioning these necessary products to our flight attendants for use while flying.' However, workers said halting service for a few weeks is the only option to keep employees and the public safe. “They need to shut down because we’re carriers. We are carriers,' said a flight attendant. American Airlines officials said their hearts go out to Frishkorn’s family. They also said employees with health issues and most mainline team members can consider a voluntary leave during this time or a voluntary early-out option. Frishkorn joined American Airlines in 1997 and was honored as a Flight Service Champion twice during his career. Statement from American Airlines: 'Earlier this week, we lost a respected, longtime member of the American Airlines family, who tested positive for COVID-19. Paul Frishkorn joined us as a flight attendant in 1997 and was based in Philadelphia. “Over the years he built a reputation as a consummate professional who was honored as one of American’s Flight Service Champions twice for his excellent service to our customers. “He was also a knowledgeable benefits consultant and servant leader for his colleagues through his work with the Association of Flight Attendants while at US Airways and later, with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants. “Our hearts go out to Paul’s loved ones, many of whom work for American. We are working directly with them to ensure they are cared for during this extraordinarily difficult time. He will be missed by the customers he cared for and everyone at American who worked with him.

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