Metrolinx is taking extra precautions with the spread of coronavirus by installing hand sanitizers on GO Transit buses and at stations.
The public transit agency has been working on a response to the outbreak of the virus for over six weeks, Anne Marie Aikins, spokesperson for Metrolinx told Daily Hive.
“Safety is critical to everything we do at Metrolinx and the health and safety of our staff and customers is of critical concern,” Aikins said.
Metrolinx has been distributing gel-based hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes throughout all workplaces and GO stations including the fleet of buses.
UP Express trains were completed first and now GO bus and trains are being completed, Aikins said on Twitter.
“Doing whatever we can to protect you and your loved ones from COVID-19,” said Aikins in a tweet on Wednesday.
The application of the long-acting anti-microbial continues on our GO fleet. Crews completed UP Express trains last night. Doing whatever we can to protect you & your loved ones from #COVID-19 pic.twitter.com/LM4e1ipnxP
— Anne Marie Aikins (@AMAwithAMA) March 4, 2020
While hand sanitizer cannot stop people from catching coronavirus, the agent is proven to be effective at killing bacteria, mould, yeast, and some viruses.
According to Aikins, stations and buses should all be fully outfitted with hand-sanitizers over the next week or two.
“Metrolinx is doing more than is needed to stay ahead of the novel virus circulating,” Aikins said.
“An experienced team has been fully engaged developing a strategy to communicate regularly to ensure our customers and staff receive the best advice from public health experts rather than rumours and misinformation.”
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The TTC is also taking certain precautions to ensure the subway is as clean as possible.
In late January the transit system took extra steps to increase daily disinfecting of touchpoints in stations and vehicles, said TTC’s Stuart Green.
According to Green, the TTC has increased end of line cleaning and are conducting daily sanitizing and wipe downs of handrails in vehicles and stations. As well as handrails on stairs, elevator buttons, and public bathrooms.
“We are in daily communication with Toronto Public Health and we are taking our advice from them as the reputable experts in this matter,” Green said.
Hand sanitizers and wipeouts have also been distributed throughout the workplace.
ICYMI – Since Jan. 26, the #TTC has been doing daily wipe downs of high “grab” points on vehicles and in stations. Here’s more…and a shot of TTC staff wiping down a subway train. pic.twitter.com/F7GplwjIBI
— TTCStuart (@TTCStuart) March 3, 2020
York Region Public Health said that a woman boarded a GO bus on February 26, who has since tested positive for COVID-19 and her husband who has travelled with her has subsequently tested positive for the virus.
Here’s the latest #COVIDー19 update for GO & UP Express customers. We’re testing a long-acting disinfectant/anti-microbial agent on our vehicles, distributing hand sanitizer, & more. Learn about all we’re doing to keep customers & staff safe here: https://t.co/no6BlVmA5t pic.twitter.com/jfzshJO7oj
— GO Transit (@GOtransit) March 3, 2020
“Out of an abundance of caution, the bus in question was taken out of service and thoroughly cleaned and we are providing the driver with the full support of our Metrolinx family,” Matt Llewellyn, Metrolinx senior advisor, Media Relations, said in a post on March 2.
Llewellyn said the agency has “learned a lot about managing a pandemic-type crisis since SARS and H1N1 — two past global viruses — and how important it is to communicate to staff and customers early, openly and frequently.”