For especially millennials and Generation Z, UBER and LYFT are a dependent source of travel when living in the city, and with the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, we must take a step back and consider our safety and health. Following the announcements from state and health officials, the public has been given guidelines to protect themselves and others, the most recent releases involving social distancing, working from home, and the closing of restaurants and taverns in Chicago. Certainly, this is a serious concern as today, Governor J.B. Pritzker has announced 134 new cases, bringing the total number of reported coronavirus cases in Illinois to 422.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the name for the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. CO = Corona, VI = Virus, D = Disease, 19 = 2019, the year in which the illness was first reported.
What Are Coronavirus Symptoms?
Shortness of Breath
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*
Is Uber and Lyft Taking Social-Distancing Seriously in Chicago?
So, what does this mean for UBER and LYFT services? And, what are they doing for their passengers and drivers? Both companies made news when announcing Tuesday they would be suspending shared rides until further notice to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The legal community is curious as to how Uber and Lyft will choose to proceed in its business when its model is based upon bringing people together. In other words, will the infection of a passenger by a driver or vice-versa have legal or insurance ramifications? Although UBER and LYFT pools have ceased, how much further are the services willing to go to protects its patrons and drivers? Whether the ride share companies claim Act of God or otherwise, it is certainly an issue that lawyers are looking at.
To flatten the curve of community spread in the cities we serve, we are suspending our Pool option in the US, Canada, London, and Paris.
We are in contact with local leaders globally and expect to take similar action when needed elsewhere.
— Uber (@Uber) March 17, 2020
Lyft is pausing Shared rides across all markets. The health and safety of the Lyft community is our top priority, and we’re dedicated to doing what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and base our actions on official guidance.
— Lyft (@lyft) March 17, 2020
In addition, within the past few days, the rideshare leaders have both been sent updates, releasing their plans of action to curb the increasing rate of infection of the coronavirus in the community. It also gives general information on how it plans to protect its drivers as well as passengers, and what steps Chicagoans should take to protect their health moving forward.
Safety is always our priority. We are actively monitoring the Coronavirus situation and are taking steps to help keep our communities safe in all the cities that we serve.
Learn more → https://t.co/zH3Yam5P7D
— Uber (@Uber) March 12, 2020
During this uncertain time, we all must do what we can to help protect the well-being of our communities. We want to make sure drivers and riders know the best ways to protect themselves, and what Lyft is doing to help. Learn more: https://t.co/fdntRS5riG pic.twitter.com/EgFUDfClAX
— Lyft (@lyft) March 16, 2020
How Are UBER & LYFT Taking Care of Infected Drivers?
Both companies have recently unveiled programs in which it will pay for drivers’ lost wages during their quarantine, contingent on certain criteria listed below.
- YOU ARE DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19
- YOU ARE PLACED IN AN INDIVIDUAL QUARANTINE BY A PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITY
- YOU ARE PERSONALLY ASKED TO SELF-ISOLATE BY A PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITY OR LICENSED MEDICAL PROVIDER; OR
- YOUR ACCOUNT IS RESTRICTED BY UBER AS A RESULT OF INFORMATION PROVIDED BY A PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITY THAT YOU HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED OR HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEONE DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19
- ADDITIONALLY, YOU MUST HAVE TAKEN AT LEAST ONE TRIP ON THE UBER PLATFORM IN THE 30 DAYS BEFORE MARCH 6, 2020, WHEN THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PLAN WAS ANNOUNCED.
If you believe that one of these situations applies to you, proceed to request your lost wages by submitting the pertinent paperwork here.
- NOTIFY THAT YOU HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
- YOU WILL BE TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED FROM LYFT UNTIL CURED
- LYFT WILL PROVIDE FUNDS TO DRIVERS THAT TEST POSITIVE OR DRIVERS PUT UNDER INDIVIDUAL QUARANTINE BY A PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY
- FUNDS WILL BE GIVEN TO DRIVERS WHO CONTACT LYFT’S SUPPORT TEAM TO SELF-REPORT AND PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION THEY’VE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19 OR PUT UNDER QUARANTINE BY A PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY
- BASED ON DRIVERS LYFT PLATFORM RECORD OVER THE LAST FOUR WEEKS, FUNDS WILL BE DECIDED AND SENT TO RECIPIENT