Provincial officials now recommend everyone wears a mask when using public transit. The recommendations also include the use of non-medical masks and plexiglass barriers.
At a daily briefing this week, Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney said the province is “recommending anyone travelling on public transit wear a face covering,” with exceptions for children under two-years-old, anyone who has trouble breathing, and anyone who would have trouble removing one.
Mulroney also said transit agencies should ensure physical distancing on vehicles to allow for fewer passengers, make alcohol-based hand sanitizer available, erect plexiglass barriers on vehicles, and ensure enhanced cleaning of “high-touch” areas.
“As more people start taking transit again, these public health measures will help keep people safe,” Mulroney said.
Dr. David Williams, the province’s medical officer of health, said health officials don’t yet know the risk of contracting COVID-19 on public transit. But, he said, it’s obvious that people can’t be crammed into transit vehicles like they may have been before the pandemic.
Meanwhile, setting a good example is Premier Doug Ford who said he wore a mask anytime he goes out in public. “I think it’s the right thing to do,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ontario reported 390 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, a 1.7 per cent jump in total cases that comes as the province processed just 7,382 tests for the novel coronavirus yesterday.
The testing number is considerably below the current target of 16,000 tests per day and far fewer than the nearly 20,000 tests the province’s network of labs has the capacity to handle on any given day.