Since the pandemic began just over a year ago, Metrolinx has kept everyone updated on actions to limit the spread of the virus and the number of staff who have tested positive for COVID-19, including any efforts to support public health officials in contact tracing.
In the past two weeks, Metrolinx has had three additional staff who have tested positive for the virus. The total number of Metrolinx staff testing positive is now 85 out of over 4,300 employees – and remains a small percentage of the workforce with no outbreaks on trains or buses.
For the past very long year of the pandemic, customers have listened to the advice of public health and stayed home whenever possible. Now, as restrictions begin to ease, customers are slowly beginning to come back to GO Transit and UP Express. Metrolinx is preparing for their return with a comprehensive Let’s Get Ready to Ride plan.
Customers are now being vaccinated and some Metrolinx staff have qualified too. But it’s important to be aware that face coverings or masks are still required on GO Transit and UP Express – even if they’ve been vaccinated.
Public health officials have made it clear that until vaccinations are more widely available it is important that we all continue to maintain all safety measures such as wearing masks, keeping a safe distance and washing hands. This includes while travelling on public transit.
Metrolinx has not let down its guard; vehicles and stations continue receiving additional cleaning, hand sanitizer on vehicles and in stations is replenished regularly, and staff continue to wear masks, eye guards and gloves.
All of the 40+ safety actions implemented over the last year to keep customers and staff safe remain in place such as barriers between seats, health checks for employees before coming to work, and superior air filtration.
So, if you are ready to return to travelling on public transit, it is important to remain focused on the basics from public health:
- Monitor your health and 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 so you can alert others if you test positive.
Story by Anne Marie Aikins, Metrolinx senior manager of media.