MTD Pulse

Precautions for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Autumn Soliman

MTD's Maintenance team disinfects all District vehicles with electrostatic sprayers on a regular basis, in addition to their daily sanitation procedures.
MTD's Maintenance team disinfects all District vehicles with electrostatic sprayers on a regular basis, in addition to their daily sanitation procedures.

UPDATED 3/16/2020 - As COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) is taking several steps to better protect all employees and passengers. We are monitoring the situation very closely through regular contact with the Champaign County Public Health District and the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency, as well as other valued community partners, municipalities, and public officials.

With the confirmed transmission of COVID-19 in Champaign County, we understand there may be concerns about safety in public spaces, and as a result, we have implemented a more robust sanitation process for our fleet.

Our vehicles are cleaned every day, but as a precaution, we have introduced a deep cleaning procedure to disinfect our vehicles using electrostatic sprayers. The sprayers use medical-grade Husky 814 Q/T Tuberculocidal disinfectant solution (EPA-Registered #1839-83 - Approved for Use Against COVID-19) to eliminate everything, from tuberculosis to coronavirus, on treated surfaces. These sprayers emit the solution with a static electric charge, which allows it to adhere to everything, including cracks and crevices throughout the vehicle’s interior.

MTD buses are currently being sanitized at least twice a week; however, we are prepared to increase those efforts as needed. Vans for ADA Paratransit, C-CARTS, and DRES are on a more rigorous daily sanitation schedule because these services tend to transport more vulnerable populations including elderly riders, people with weakened immune systems, and those with underlying health conditions.

While the CDC reports that the immediate public risk of contracting COVID-19 is fairly low, we have taken precautionary steps to protect our passengers and employees. We have provided our frontline employees with individual bottles of hand sanitizer to use when soap and water are unavailable because hand washing is the first line of defense recommended by the CDC.

MTD will continue to follow the advice given by public health officials and we ask our passengers to do the same:

Protecting yourself

  • Clean your hands often - wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

Protecting others

  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. 
    • Call your doctor or nurse hotline to determine if in-person care is needed to avoid overwhelming our local health care facilities.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes
    • Throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands immediately after
    • Wear a facemask if you are sick
    • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask. Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Take steps to help medical personnel

  • Unless you are sick, you do not need to wear a facemask. Masks are in short supply and should be prioritized for caregivers, medical staff, and those who are sick.
  • If you are sick, an initial phone consultation with your doctor’s office may help prevent the spread of illness but also alleviate congestion in medical facilities. 
  • While there is currently no vaccination against COVID-19, if you have not had a flu or pneumonia shot, you can still get one to protect yourself from other illnesses. Preventing the flu and pneumonia can help medical facilities avoid overcrowding.

Preparing your household

  • Refill prescription medications in case your household falls under quarantine. Call your doctor to see if a three-month prescription can be ordered.
  • Prepare to stay in your home for two weeks or more, with critical items including food, hygiene items, over-the-counter medication, and pet supplies.
  • Stay up to date with information and guidelines from public officials.

Resources

  • Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD)  (217) 352-7961 coronavirus@c-uphd.org
  • Center for Disease Control and  Prevention (CDC)
  • Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)