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RHODE ISLAND PUBLIC TRANSIT AUTHORITY INCREASES PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES AGAINST CORONAVIRUS AT ALL FACILITIES AND ON BUSES

March 12, 2020

Safety and security are the top priority for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) as we work daily to keep Rhode Island moving. Accordingly, RIPTA is announcing enhanced facility-wide cleaning and sanitizing protocols implemented in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

As part of our commitment to the citizens of Rhode Island, RIPTA will increase cleanings of buses and at all buses facilities – including  restrooms and surfaces frequently touched by passengers —  as precautionary measures in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. All public areas will be disinfected on a regular basis using EPA-approved and CDC-endorsed disinfectants.  Surfaces cleaned on buses include seats, windows, grab rails, steps, and more.

RIPTA will continue to consult with the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure appropriate preventative measures are being utilized.

“Keeping our employees and our passengers safe is our top priority,” said Scott Avedisian, Chief Executive Officer of RIPTA.  “That’s why we are increasing our cleaning measures but also stressing the importance of everyone following common-sense, good hygiene measures such as washing your hands frequently and being careful not to touch your face.”

RIPTA has increased the frequency and intensity of all cleaning routines by utilizing EPA-approved, anti-viral cleaning agents in order to maintain the highest levels of sanitation. All commonly touched surfaces in the public spaces will be sanitized on a regular basis. This includes surfaces throughout the facilities such as doors, handrails, elevator cabs and buttons, ticket vending machines, ticket counters, seating areas, water fountains, etc. 

RIPTA will also deploy Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in order to encourage all passengers to make themselves aware of the health and safety protocols established by the CDC. These include recommendations to:

•    Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that includes at least 60-percent alcohol.

•    Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

•    Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

•    Stay home when you are sick.

•    Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands.

•    Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

•    Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern or have been in contact with someone who has traveled to these areas should call ahead to their healthcare provider before presenting for treatment.

Should you have questions or concerns about the coronavirus, please consult the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html or the Rhode Island Department of Health website at https://health.ri.gov/diseases/respiratory/?parm=163.

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