The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) announced on Friday it will boost its disinfecting measures amid concerns of the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in Montreal.
The STM said it started cleaning its most used surfaces on metros, metro stations and buses as of Tuesday. This includes poles, straps and handles, handrails, fare vending machines and elevators.
The public transit organization said public health informed them that the virus can live on surfaces for up to three hours.
On Tuesday, Quebec’s public health ministry announced that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 had traveled by public transport between Feb. 24 and March 6 while potentially contagious.
This person used the metro line between Longueuil and Champ-de-Mars stations, passing through Berri-UQAM station.
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On Thursday, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said the city’s public transit system will stay open and run as usual as it is a vital service for Montreal commuters.
She added that the public should be careful to rigorously wash their hands after using the metro or bus.
Earlier this week, STM spokesperson Philippe Déry said it was increasing both the frequency and rigour with which all public transit surfaces were cleaned, but said it wouldn’t be done daily, but more than once a week.
The transit authority said it usually cleans its metro cars, stations and buses no more than once a month.
The STM said if clients feel safer not touching handrails, they can do so, but said it is not yet at the point of advising commuters to do that.
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Coronavirus around the world: March 12, 2020
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