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Thursday, August 6, 2020

How to Protect Yourself When Using Public Transportation

With business and services entering stage 3 in parts of Ontario, many people need to use public transportation to get to work, and access services. With the virus causing COVID-19 still circulating in the community, it is vital to protect yourself as much as possible. Here are some tips to help you navigate using public transportation safely.

Follow Social Distancing
Ontario Public Health advises that individuals keep 2 metres apart to avoid the spread of COVID-19. The virus spreads through close contact with someone who has the virus - usually being coughed on or sneezed at or being within 2 metres of an infected person for 10 to 15 minutes or longer in an enclosed low ventilated space.

If possible, keep as much distance as possible between yourself and others when walking through stations and on the bus or subway. As more people go back to work, public transit routes will become more crowded and busy making social distancing more difficult.

Change Your Commute Time
If possible, think about changing your commute time to avoid rush hours and busy times of the day. You are more likely to have more space on buses and subways at off-peak times, making it easier to social distance.

Wear A Mask

If it is not possible to social distance on public transit, wearing a mask can help prevent the spread. Remember that the mask is not there to protect you, but to protect you from spreading the virus to others if you are unknowingly contagious and for this reason masks can be very effective in helping control the spread of the virus.

Wash Your Hands After Travelling
Experts believe that COVID can also be spread by touching surfaces with the virus and is more likely to be on high touch surface areas such as handles, or bars used for balance on the bus or subway. For this reason, you should avoid touching your face when out in public and wash your hands with soap and warm water as soon as possible after travelling.

If you don’t have access to soap and water to wash your hands, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good alternative until you can find a place to wash your hands.

You should also be aware of touching other high touch areas such as washrooms and door handles. Public Transit Companies have improved their cleaning protocols, but you cannot be sure that each surface has been disinfected. A cleaning service, such as Parkinson Coach Bus Washroom Service Toronto can thoroughly deep clean buses each day to keep passengers safe.

Consider alternate Forms of Travel
If riding on a crowded city bus or subway is not your idea of fun, consider other ways of getting to work such as bike riding or walking. Bike riding and walking gets you outdoors and away from crowds making commuting less of a risk for catching COVID-19 and you get some exercise. A number of municipalities have also opened up more bike lanes in the last year to provide safer options for commuters.
You could also think about other ways of traveling if something like walking or bike riding wouldn’t work for you or your commute. Many cities now have Uber in the area, and that is an app that is quick to download and quick to get to work. You can move around a city in comfort, with limited numbers of people, all quite cheaply too. You could also consider pre-booking something like a limousine, especially for something like a trip to the airport. If there are a few of you, such as a family, then it can be a good way to to travel during these unprecedented times, without having to think about parking costs once you’re at the airport.

Stay Home if You Are Sick
Finally, stay home if you are sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19. You should not be travelling on public transit if you feel unwell as you could put people at risk. Stopping the spread is important and if you are feeling unsure if you have COVID-19, get tested.
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