The California Transit Association is closely monitoring federal, state and local actions to combat the outbreak of a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in thousands of confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan City. As you have likely heard, additional cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations, including the United States. There are ongoing investigations to learn more.*
Employee risks of occupational exposure to a virus, including in the transit industry, may vary from very high to low risk. The level of risk depends in part on whether jobs require proximity to people potentially infected with the virus, or whether they are required to have either repeated or extended contact with known or suspected sources of a virus.
The Center for Disease Control recommends that transit agencies take the following immediate steps:
- Educate and train employees on proper hand hygiene, cough etiquette, and social distancing techniques.
- Understand and develop work practice and engineering controls that could provide additional protection to your employees and customers, such as the proper selection, use, and disposal of personal protective equipment.
- Review, upgrade, or modify, as needed, your agency’s Standard Operation Procedures for cleaning and disinfecting of railcars, buses, and other transport vehicles.
- Coordinate with local public health departments, utilize your agency’s website, social media, or other outlets to list facts or information, such as developing a Q&A page.
- Coordinate with local media to provide relevant facts.
- Develop or update your agency’s Disaster Plan to include emergency preparedness. Review the plan and conduct employee training and drills regularly.
Each transit agency is encouraged to take the actions deemed appropriate for their system. Geographical location or system size are just a few items to consider when developing your Prevention or Preparedness Plans. For additional guidance, the following references are available:
- COVID-19 Resources and News – APTA
- Interim Guidelines for General Industry on 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease – Cal/OSHA
- Corona Disease in 2019 in the U.S. – CDC
- COVID-19 Situation Summary – CDC
- Handouts, Fact Sheets, Posters (multiple languages) – CDC
- National Pandemic Strategy – CDC
- Novel Coronavirus Information – CDC
- Prevention Poster (English) – CDC (png)
- Symptoms Poster (English) – CDC (png)
- Coronavirus Prevention Graphic (English) – CDPH Twitter
- Coronavirus Prevention Graphic (Spanish) – CDPH Twitter
- nCoV2019 FAQ - CDPH
- Prevention and Symptoms Poster (English) – CDPH (png)
- Prevention and Symptoms Poster (Spanish) – CDPH (png)
- Public Transit Response to Coronavirus or COVID-19 – CTAA
- Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – FTA
- U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Increased Flexibility to Help Transit Agencies Respond to Coronavirus – FTA
- Coronavirus Resources for Cities – League of California Cities
- Epidemics and Pandemics Information – NTSR
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus Guidance – OSHA
- Metro coordinating with Public Health officials on response to coronavirus – The Source
- A Guide for Public Transportation Pandemic Planning and Response – TRB
- Public Transit Emergency Preparedness Against Ebola and Other Infectious Diseases: Legal Issues – TRB
- Management of COVID-19 Guidelines for Public Transport Operators – UITP