- The STM is stepping up its cleaning efforts amid an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Quebec.
- On Tuesday, provincial health officials released the itinerary of an infected individual who used metro and bus services.
The STM is stepping up its efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus by increasing the frequency of cleanings and by providing disinfecting wipes to its employees. The STM is implementing these new regulations "as a precautionary measure, despite the fact that experts estimate that the risk of transmission on public transport is low and that the virus does not survive more than 3 hours on dry surfaces," wrote STM spokesperson Philippe Déry in an official statement. On Tuesday, the Quebec Health Ministry discovered that a person infected with COVID-19 used the bus and metro on February 24 and March 6.
Last week, the STM announced that it would be ramping up its cleaning schedule to once-a-week in response to the "current circumstances." It wasn't clear at the time that these measures were in direct response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Since Mayor Valérie Plante announced that Montreal is on "high alert mode" because of coronavirus, another three confirmed cases were discovered in Quebec.
Now, with eight total cases and health authorities taking extra precautions, the STM has decided to step up its cleaning measures.
Déry tells MTL Blog that "the STM is in close contact with public health authorities, who are keeping us informed of the situation as well as any cases that might concern us and the measures that need to be taken."
Though the risk of transmission is still extremely low, the STM wanted to implement the following measures to ensure the safety of its customers:
"Cleaning frequency will be increased on buses, paratransit minibuses, trains and stations, which were performed every seven days since last week."
"Regarding our employees, we have prepared the distribution of disinfectant wipes for all STM station agents, operators and drivers (on regular and paratransit networks)."
Health officials recommend staying home if you're feeling any symptoms and suggest calling the public health line at 811.
If you suspect you've contracted coronavirus, you should "refrain from using public transit," said Déry.
On Tuesday, public health officials released the itinerary of a person infected with coronavirus who used public transit.
Should you have used the bus and metro at the same time, it's recommended that you monitor your symptoms and avoid coming into contact with people.
According to Déry, "the STM’s emergency response team is following the situation closely and preparing its contingency plan."
Stay tuned for more updates on the coronavirus in Montreal right here on MTL Blog.