Metrolinx contacting passengers of GO bus that carried coronavirus patient

Mar 2 2020, 6:16 am

Ontario reported four new cases of coronavirus over the weekend, and one of the patients travelled on a GO Bus, according to Metrolinx and the Regional Municipality of York.

The Regional Municipality of York was notified of a positive case of COVID-19 in Richmond Hill, and the case is travel-related from Iran on Tuesday, February 25 with a layover in Denmark.

According to the municipality, a woman in her 30s developed symptoms prior to her return and was symptomatic on the flight.

“On Wednesday, February 26 at approximately 3:55 pm, the individual boarded GO Bus #40 at Toronto Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1, travelling eastbound sitting on the upper deck with a final destination arriving at the Richmond Hill Centre Terminal,” said the municipality in a release.

“On Thursday, February 27, the individual was tested and assessed at Mackenzie Health Hospital in the City of Richmond Hill. The individual is currently in self-isolation recovering at home.”

The municipality added that “all individuals who travelled in the business class section of Qatar Airways flight QR 483 and QR 163, Air Canada flight AC 883 and on GO Bus #40 eastbound and sitting on the upper deck may have been exposed to this positive case of coronavirus, and are asked to contact York Region Public Health.

Additionally, Metrolinx’s Anne Marie Aikins said that those who boarded the GO bus using a registered PRESTO card would be contacted by the transit agency.

“We’re also working on expanding the use of a long-acting disinfectant/anti-microbial agent to more vehicles including buses,” said Aikins.

Anyone who was on the flights listed, or the GO bus, is asked to call 1-800-361-5653 Monday to Sunday between 8:30 am to 8 pm for further assessment.

“Individuals that were not in direct or close contact with the individual are not considered at risk of becoming infected,” said the municipality, adding that the risk to residents continues to remain low and there is no evidence of community spread within York Region.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

They advise that residents can take the following steps to protect themselves from this new and emerging disease:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, including between your fingers, under your fingernails and your wrists; if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cover your cough or sneeze using a tissue or into your elbow or sleeve, being sure to cover your mouth; put used tissue in the garbage and wash your hands after or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • If you are sick, stay home from work or school until your symptoms resolve
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing
  • Increase cleaning and disinfection frequency of high-touch surfaces such as toilets, sink tap handles, doorknobs, countertops, light switches and other shared items using regular household cleaners
  • Avoid sharing personal items that come into contact with saliva such as toothbrushes, eating utensils drinks/water bottles and towels