Metrolinx COVID-19 update for Jan 15, 2021

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, Metrolinx has kept customers and communities updated throughout the pandemic when it comes to staff who have tested positive for COVID.

In the past week, six additional Metrolinx employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and are recovering at home. None of the cases are within the same location, nor connected in any way. No Metrolinx employees have contracted the virus at work.

Out of over 4,300 Metrolinx employees, 61 have now tested positive for COVID-19. To date, there have been no outbreaks at Metrolinx workplaces as our safety protocols such as masks and distancing have helped limit – and stay ahead – of the spread of the virus.

A man walks onto an UP train.
A customer boards an UP Express train at Pearson International Airport. One of the changes customers will likely notice when returning to UP Express and GO Transit is the way staff are checking fares onboard our trains. Most customers will be able to hold their PRESTO card closely over the inspection device without actually needing to touch it. Staff will have hand sanitizer ready for use if needed. E-tickets and paper tickets just need to be shown for a visual inspection. (Matt Llewellyn photo)

Given the alarming rise in infection rates across the province, the Ontario government announced a stay-at-home order for all residents, which began on  Jan. 14, to help further stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure our health care system and workers do not get overwhelmed.

Essentially the order means people should remain home except for work, groceries, pharmacy, healthcare appointments or exercise. If customers do need to use GO or UP for essential purposes, they will not be required to travel with special documentation. Customers are reminded to wear their face coverings.

Of the changes announced, there is no change to protocols for Metrolinx operations staff or those involved in transit construction activities as these continue to be considered essential services. Staff who are working on the frontlines will continue to ensure GO Transit, UP Express and PRESTO services, as well as community and customer relations are there for customers and residents. Staff remain vigilant in practicing established safety measures and precautions.

Over 2,000 Metrolinx employees who are able to work from home will continue to work virtually. Public consultations will also continue virtually.

With the vaccine rollout underway, it is time to collectively find our second wind and stay focused on the basics from public health:

  • Stay home as much as possible
  • Stay home if ill or potentially exposed to COVID-19
  • Wear a face covering and ensure both the nose and mouth is covered at all times (Check out the Metrolinx PPE dispensers and branded masks)
  • Wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitizer
  • Download the COVID Alert App – the app now works for older phones.

Story by Anne Marie Aikins, Metrolinx senior manager of media.