SACRAMENTO, Calif — Sacramento Regional Transit is taking precautionary steps to keep passengers safe amid the coronavirus, deep cleaning the large fleet of buses and light rail trains thousands take daily.

The deep cleaning, which includes fogging chlorine dioxide in the buses and trains, is on top of what the public transport crews do manually every night.

"Normally, during cold and flu season, we do this every three weeks," said SacRT spokesperson Jessica Gonzalez. "But in response to the coronavirus we’re now doing it once a week."

SacRT has a fleet of 300 buses and 97 light rail trains. So the deep cleaning crews are now doing nightly is a huge task, but one that Gonzalez said hopes will help ease riders' minds.

SacRT employees preparing to board a bus
Mayde Gomez

Gonzalez said the chemicals used to disinfect public transport are safe for the public. SacRT is providing hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and disposable gloves to employees that come in contact with the public.

Gonzalez said even though commuters are concerned about the coronavirus, she hasn’t seen a decrease in riders. She urges passengers to take precautions to keep themselves and others healthy.

"Be aware, don't go out if you are sick, cover your mouth if you cough," Gonzalez said. "We want people to be sure they are following all those same procedures they should be following sending their kids to school or going to work. You're doing the same thing on public transportation."

BACKGROUND:

According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

The CDC also says facemasks should only be used by people who show symptoms of the virus. If you’re not sick, you do not have to wear a facemask. The CDC says the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low.

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Mayde Gomez.

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