City of Regina says it isn’t shutting down public transit amid coronavirus

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Despite growing concerns over COVID-19, the City of Regina says it isn’t shutting down its public transit system.

Ridership has seen a significant drop over the past week, due in large part to the University of Regina cancelling its classes.

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Coronavirus outbreak: Saskatchewan declares state of emergency – Mar 18, 2020

The service will continue because of the number of people who don’t have the option to drive.

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“We want to provide that service because for some people it’s an essential service. We’ve seen it drop off for many reasons; people are self-isolating, which is a good thing — we want to see them do that,” Regina Mayor Michael Fougere said.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan declares state of emergency as coronavirus concerns grow

“We’re not going to cut that service off. Our intention is to make it more accessible and available to those who need it.”

Fougere said the city is looking at ways to avoid the spread of COVID-19 such as rear-door boarding and spot checks.

“We’re looking at everything we can to minimize contact. Social distancing is really important – all those things are critical,” Fougere said.

He said bus drivers are also concerned about COVID-19 and are leaning on the city to provide a safe work environment.

“Rightly so. They are in a sedentary position, isolated where they are and we want to make sure they feel safe, but they also want to go work,” Fougere said.

READ MORE: Regina takes action against COVID-19, closing all recreation facilities and libraries

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“We have things we got to do to make sure people are safe and we are going to do that.”

Fougere is holding a press conference later Thursday morning.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.