United Airlines pilots ratify deal that will prevent 2,800 from being furloughed
By Lori Aratani
United Airlines pilots on Monday approved a deal that will allow 2,800 of them to avoid being furloughed should Congress fail to extend a payroll support program created as part of the Cares Act.
The deal will enable United to reduce the number of employees it will furlough come Thursday without Congress’ help to less than 12,000, according to the airline. United, which employs 79,000 people, received $5 billion in the first coronavirus relief package, which President Trump signed into law in March.
“Our members understood that in order to protect pilot jobs, we needed to approve this agreement,” said Capt. Todd Insler, chairman of the United Air Line Pilots Association master executive council. “I am proud of our pilots for showing the unity and resolve needed in the face of uncertainty.”
A college football game was called off because of coronavirus tests. It was really human error.
By Matt Bonesteel
There have been 22 college football games that either have been canceled or postponed so far this season because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. One of them shouldn’t have been.
Georgia State was scheduled to play at Charlotte on Saturday, but the game was called off as the Panthers were about to depart Friday afternoon after four players tested positive for the novel coronavirus, with quarantine deemed necessary for 17 others (including one coach). But on Sunday, the school’s athletic department announced that “human error” led to an incorrect reading of the test results.
“These were our first positive test results in three weeks among our athletics programs, which since April have experienced a positivity rate of 1.7 percent,” Georgia State Athletic Director Charlie Cobb said in a school-issued statement. “Out of an abundance of caution for the rest of our team and Charlotte, we could not in good conscience put our team on the bus and play a game."
What tourists need to know about visiting L.A. during the pandemic
By Natalie Compton
As the United States scrambled in the face of the new coronavirus outbreak, Los Angeles was one of the first cities to impose a severe lockdown. Movies stopped filming. Traffic disappeared. Beaches emptied. Six months later, L.A. residents are back on Interstate 405 (or the 405, for Southern Californians), returning to hiking trails and figuring out how to live life during the new normal.
For starters, both residents and visitors are required to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing while they’re in public, whether that’s lounging on the beach, shopping in Beverly Hills or power walking to their gate at the airport.
While many elements of the city are still closed to prevent spreading the coronavirus, Javier Cabral, editor in chief of news and culture site L.A. TACO and associate producer for the “Taco Chronicles” on Netflix, doesn’t discourage people from visiting L.A. as he sees the economic impact of the pandemic.
Hoping for a safer Halloween, this Cincinnati dad created a candy chute
By Michael Errigo
Andrew Beattie has always loved Halloween. He loves all holidays, a dedication that began when he was a child. But Halloween is special to Beattie, a horror-movie lover who will often dress as Michael Myers or another famous boogeyman to hand out candy. In his Cincinnati home, there is a spare room filled with Halloween props, masks and decorations. He and his family wait for the time of year when they can empty it.
“Those holidays you can go all out for, I love doing so whenever possible,” he said.
But Halloween, like so many other events, will be altered by the novel coronavirus pandemic. In early September, Beattie, his wife and their 6-year-old daughter were discussing what their beloved holiday might look like and they came up with an idea. What if there was a way to hand out candy without getting closer than six feet to a single trick-or-treater? Beattie remembered he had a long tube, formerly an Amazon shipping container, in the basement. The next day, it took about 20 minutes to bring the idea to life: a candy chute.
The coronavirus has killed at least 1 million people around the globe. There is no end in sight.
By Washington Post Staff
Thousands of people are dying each day from the virus, which has raged across the oceans and into the biggest cities and the tiniest villages. The deaths started as a trickle. Then they become a torrent.
Day cares are reopening. But they can only serve small groups and fear for their survival.
By Perry Stein
Six months into the pandemic, more than half of the District’s 456 licensed day-care facilities are open, and officials said they expect more to welcome students in the coming weeks. They currently have the capacity to serve around 800 children, a small fraction of the number they enrolled before the pandemic, and their financial futures are uncertain.
The industry already operates at the margins, and facilities that are open are running undercapacity to comply with strict health guidelines. Many centers have delayed paying their rent or mortgages until they can afford it. Owners say that many workers have left for babysitting gigs or other minimum-wage jobs that reopened sooner.
The demand for child care is growing but is inconsistent and unpredictable, day care owners said in interviews. They have fewer young infants in their care. But centers with accredited prekindergarten programs say the slots are in high demand, with parents opting for these in-person programs instead of the virtual public school ones. While some centers are turning parents away, others have capacity but no families registered.
Economic relief talks between White House and Pelosi suddenly resume as House Democrats make new offer
By Erica Werner
The White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) resumed discussions over a possible economic-relief bill as Democrats offered a $2.2 trillion package and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin immediately engaged in talks.
Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke Monday evening and agreed to talk again Tuesday morning, according to Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.
The two have negotiated extensively this year on economic relief bills, initially with success but most recently at odds. They are running out of time to reach an agreement before the November elections, but their planned talks this week appear to be the most extensive engagement they have had in more than a month.
Fauci expresses concern over Florida’s reopening of bars and restaurants
By Darren Sands
Anthony S. Fauci, the leading U.S. infectious-disease expert, said on Monday that Florida’s move to reopen all bars and restaurants was “very concerning.”
“That is something we really need to be careful about,” Fauci said on “Good Morning America.”
Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced he was lifting restrictions on all bars and restaurants, allowing them to return to full capacity, with some exceptions.
Fauci said that it was time to “double down” on safety measures as the weather gets colder and people go indoors, warning that some states are seeing a rising number of cases.
Asked about the nearly 1 million deaths globally from the virus, Fauci said the numbers are “very serious.”
“You can open up businesses, you can do things like that,” he said. “But when you start congregating at bars without masks or in congregate settings where people are crowded together indoors without masks, that’s asking for trouble.”
September 28, 2020 at 7:13 PM EDT
A dozen crew members test positive for virus on first post-lockdown Greek cruise
By Ruby Mellen
Twelve staff members of a Maltese-flagged cruise ship carrying more than 1,500 people around the Greek islands have tested positive for the coronavirus, Greek authorities said, according to the Associated Press.
The Mein Schiff 6, run by the Germany-based TUI Cruises, set sail Sunday from the island of Crete, the first vacation cruise to take place on the Greek isles since the country imposed coronavirus-related restrictions, the Guardian reported.
But after less than 24 hours at sea, 12 members of the crew tested positive for the virus after 150 random tests were conducted on the 666 staff members aboard. All confirmed cases were asymptomatic and the infected had been isolated, Greek authorities said.
Health officials added that the crew members would be retested when the ship arrives in the port city of Piraeus on Tuesday.
On Monday, TUI spokesman Kuzey Alexander Esener said that none of the 12 crew members were experiencing any symptoms, and that in a second round of tests most were now negative, though some results are pending.
Esener added that the ship would stick with its original itinerary and leave for Piraeus on Tuesday.
When the coronavirus began to spread across the world earlier this year, cruise ships were hotbeds for infection, seeing large outbreaks and assisting in carrying the virus around the globe.
While Greece largely avoided the outbreaks and death tolls experienced by some of its European neighbors, it has been seeing worrying spikes in cases since August.
Coronavirus cases are likely to rebound in the Washington region, officials and experts say
By Robert McCartney
Coronavirus cases dropped to their lowest level since mid-July in the greater Washington region last week, but keep your mask on.
Infections will probably rebound this fall and winter, and could force authorities to reverse course and tighten restrictions on public activities, officials and health experts said.
Six months after the virus erupted in our area, its persistence has frustrated early hopes that shutdowns and other measures would have mostly contained it by now. The region has fared better than much of the country in battling the disease. But it has failed to drive down infections as much as the Northeast and many foreign countries.
NYC sheriff shuts down Queens wedding where nearly 300 guests partied indoors
By Kim Bellware
A Queens wedding reception in full swing was shut down this weekend by New York City sheriff’s deputies who arrived to find nearly 300 guests dining, drinking and socializing at the indoor venue in violation of several state and city social distancing rules.
NYC Sheriff Joseph Fucito said deputies were tipped off by a complaint about social distancing violations and arrived at the Royal Elite Palace event space about 11:50 p.m. Friday. Deputies reported that guests were entering through an indoor parking area, while all exits but one exit were blocked off in an apparent effort to conceal the event taking place inside, Fucito said. Deputies found “approximately 284 people in violation of social distancing guidelines” inside the venue, where a live band also was playing.
“In this particular instance, you have the violation of emergency measures, unlawfully altering the nature of the business, having only had one means of egress, and unlicensed security guards,” Fucito told The Post.
The venue’s owner, Aba Cohen, and the manager, Paata Sichinava, were taken into custody Friday, the sheriff said, and issued multiple citations for misdemeanor violations. Calls to the venue were not immediately answered Monday, and attempts to reach Cohen and Sichinava were unsuccessful.
The wedding reception bust comes as the number of positive cases in New York has ticked slightly upward to 1.5 percent, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Monday. Just weeks earlier, the state had been on a five-week streak of a sub-1 percent positivity rate.
Dow closes up more than 400 points after weeks of sharp losses
By Hannah Denham and Hamza Shaban
Stocks closed up after a dramatic uptick during Monday’s trading day, as sectors that have been battered since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus led a broad-based rally.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 410 points, or 1.5 percent. The S&P 500 index closed up 53 points, or 1.6 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite was up nearly 204 points, almost 1.9 percent, by the closing bell.
Monday’s market close trimmed some losses after a volatile month of selling, the continual spread of infections across the country and political uncertainty leading up to Election Day. Analysts are hopeful that the market is catching a breather after Wall Street’s weeks of September volatility.
Financial and energy companies rose sharply during the trading day, marking the largest gains of the S&P, at higher than 2 percent. But every sector began the week by gaining ground.
September 28, 2020 at 3:31 PM EDT
A Mississippi teacher alternates between two groups of students, and she knows one is falling behind
By Sarah Fowler
COLUMBIA, Miss. — Danielle Whittington teaches 40 fourth-grade students each day but she has not met all of them in person. In her hybrid classroom, 15 are at home, and the rest are in school — and, she says, she is worried that the two groups are not getting the same education.
Whittington said she is certain many of the students at home are alone, doing their work with no help from an adult. “They will be delayed,” she said of the virtual learners. “They’re not going to be as advanced as the kids that are sitting in this class.”
The dynamic in Whittington’s classroom is being seen in schools across the country as districts attempt to keep students learning in the 2020-2021 academic year while the coronavirus pandemic persists. Each school system devised its own plan for learning, based on local and state requirements, and their choices reflect geography, community infection rates and the politics of state leaders.
Outdoor dining has helped restaurants avoid disaster. But winter is coming.
By Tim Carman
Bonnie and Israel Morales felt the impact of the coronavirus at Kachka Alfresca from the start. The couple behind Kachka, a popular Russian restaurant in Portland, Ore., introduced outdoor dining in June, on a stretch of concrete previously used as a parking lot. Nearly 30 picnic tables, each under its own tent and some covered in a blue-and-white striped cloth that evoked Russian naval shirts, were spread far enough apart to keep diners at a safe distance. Portlanders ate it up.
Despite its success, Bonnie and Israel Morales don’t plan to prep the tables for winter. They’re not going to rent outdoor heaters (assuming they can even find them) or construct greenhouse-like pods to shelter diners from the elements. They’re planning to kill off Kachka Alfresca on Oct. 11 in favor of other ways to generate revenue, including takeout and retail sales of their frozen dumplings and forthcoming horseradish vodka.
The pandemic has already devastated the country’s restaurant industry. Millions of jobs have been lost, and nearly 100,000 restaurants have closed permanently or indefinitely since the outbreak, according to a recent survey from the National Restaurant Association. Restaurateurs are expected to lose $240 million this year, and the worst may be yet to come as winter looms, threatening to slow down or shut down outdoor dining spaces that have given owners hope that they might survive this crisis until a vaccine is widely available.