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Tips for Staying Safe While Using Public Transportation

Nancy Weingartner Monroe

Minnesota's COVID-19 cases haven't had the surge other states are experiencing. And two more municipalities, Rochester and Mankato, have mandated wearing masks in public places. As workers start to return to restaurants and offices, the empty buses and light rail cars will start to see more bodies boarding them, and thereby an increased risk of spreading the virus. Here’s some advice from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) on how to stay safe while traveling to and from your job.

  • Carry sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (in case you are unable to wash your hands at your destination). Wear a mask at times when physical distancing is difficult—for example, while riding on a train or bus, waiting at a rest stop, or riding in a car with people outside your household.

Avoid touching surfaces

  • Limit touching frequently touched surfaces such as kiosks, digital interfaces such as touchscreens and fingerprint scanners, ticket machines, turnstiles, handrails, restroom surfaces, elevator buttons and benches as much as possible. If you must touch these surfaces, as soon as you can, wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or rub your hands with sanitizer.
  • Use touchless payment and no-touch trash cans and doors when available. Exchange cash or credit cards by placing them in a receipt tray or on the counter rather than by hand, if possible.

Practice social distancing

  • When possible, consider traveling during non-peak hours when there are likely to be fewer people.
  • Avoid gathering in groups, and stay out of crowded spaces when possible, especially at transit stations and stops.
  • Consider skipping a row of seats between yourself and other riders if possible.
  • Enter and exit buses through rear entry doors if possible.
  • Look for social distancing instructions or physical guides offered by transit authorities (for example, floor decals or signs indicating where to stand or sit to remain at least 6 feet apart from others).

Practice hand hygiene

  • After you leave the transit station or stop, use hand sanitizer.
  • When you arrive at your destination, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
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