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It sure is not safe to travel or even go outside our homes during this pandemic situation, but we all know that this cannot be helped. Even during the times when community guidelines are being strict, we all know that staying inside our homes completely is not possible as there are many errands and things that are necessary which requires us to go outside our homes. Now that the community restrictions are being lifted off gradually, it is reasonable for us to look for ways on how to resume our daily activities as safely as possible. Traveling is one.
Transport operators and passengers should understand the potential risks of being exposed outside and with different people and be aware of the different types of prevention measures to protect themselves and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
For Transportation Operators
Close contact with passengers with COVID-19 and touching surfaces that were touched or handled by a person with COVID-19 are just a few of the potential risks that can put you in the danger of contacting the virus. You might find the following tips helpful in keeping yourself safe from COVID-19.
Stay Home if You Feel Any Symptoms of COVID-19
- Seek for medical advice and guidance from a healthcare provider if you start to develop symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
- If you were advised by the doctor or the nurse to do home isolation, do not return to work unless the criteria are met.
Wear a Cloth Face Mask
- Refrain from picking up multiple passengers who would not otherwise be on the same route.
- Do not let passengers sit in the front seat.
- Avoid close contact with passengers, when possible.
- When you are outside the vehicle, keep a distance of at least 6 feet from your passengers.
- When transporting passengers in larger vehicles such as buses and vans, ask the passengers to sit six feet from the driver.
- During pick-up and drop-off, consider asking passengers to handle their own personal belongings such as their bags.
- If you work for a company that offers a large fleet of vehicles, ask the company management if there is any available car/taxi with a partition between drivers and passengers.
- Use the car’s vents to bring in fresh outside air and/or lower the vehicle windows instead of using the recirculated air option for the car’s ventilation.
- Providing water bottles or magazines for free to passengers should be avoided.
- Refrain from touching surfaces that are frequently touched by passengers or other drivers, such as windows, steering wheel, door frame/handles, gearshift, signaling levers, seat belt buckles, and other vehicle parts before cleaning and disinfection.
Clean and Disinfect
- Ensure to bring in with you disposable wipes, cleaning and disinfectant spray and disposal trash bags in your vehicle.
- Follow the cleaning product’s directions on the label.
- Clean visibly dirty surfaces with soap or detergent and water before disinfection.
- At the beginning and end of each shift, and between transporting passengers who are sick, at a minimum, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the vehicle.
- For hard non-porous surface, here are the appropriate disinfectants:
- Diluted household bleach solutions prepared and used according to the manufacturers label for disinfection if appropriate for the surface
- Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol.
- Ensure your passengers are wearing a cloth face mask before letting them ride. Remind them to dispose their tissues properly after they cough or sneeze on it before exiting the vehicle.
- If you come across any passengers intentionally spreading their germs in the car interior, report them to authorities as appropriate.
- You can choose to refuse providing transport to any visibly sick passenger for safety reasons to safeguard your own health and your other passengers as well.
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