Local pizza shop refusing to take cash in effort to fight COVID-19

JEANNETTE, Pa. — A pizza shop in Jeannette is refusing to take cash – only credit or debit cards – in an effort to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Jonathon Felbaum, who owns Brooklyn’s Pizza, said he made the decision to eliminate the transfer of paper money altogether.

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“(We) just do prepaid credit card orders only just because we didn’t want to bring that element with the virus in here, or have money transferred to every delivery. I thought it was a safety measure to keep that out of here for the time being,” he said.

Felbaum told Channel 11 they do about 30-40 deliveries a day and have nearly 40,000 residents in their delivery area, so they’re trying to make every effort to keep their customers and workers healthy.

While health experts agree that money is dirty, doctors at the University of Pittsburgh said there are some misconceptions when talking about flu strains and how viable they are transferring from surfaces like cash.

“If you have something that’s a porous material like paper, the viruses sometimes get stuck in the fibers and it’s hard for that to get transferred from a porous material to a non-porous material like plastic,” said Dr. Seema Lakdawala. “I would be more concerned with handling credit cards than I would be paper money at this moment.”

Some doctors told Channel 11 studies have focused on the influenza virus, but that knowledge has shaped their understanding of the similarities between the flu and coronavirus.

Lakdawala said her lab studies show flu viruses can live on plastic for days.

According to the CDC’s website, it recommends businesses to minimize all handling of not only cash, but also credit cards and cell phones.

  • When you do have to exchange money, the CDC says:
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Place cash on the counter instead of directly into your hand
  • Wipe the counter between each customer