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The following are excerpts from Toronto Public Health – Covid-19 Fact Sheet Web site.

COVID-19 Guidance for Taxi and Ride Share Vehicles 

The following interim guidance includes recommendations to help reduce the risk of community exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in taxis and ride shares. 

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 stands for Corona Virus Disease – 2019 (year the outbreak began). COVID-19 spreads through the direct contact with the respiratory droplets of someone who is infected with the virus through their cough or sneeze. These droplets can spread up to two metres/six feet. It may also be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

Preventing the spread of COVID-19 in taxi/ride share vehicles 

Recommendations for employers/drivers/vehicle owners and operators to use now include: 

    • Emphasize respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by drivers and passengers: 
      • Drivers should clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand rub, or to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. Washing hands with soap and water is preferred if hands are visibly dirty. 
      • Use alcohol-based hand rub after handling money or providing assistance with a passenger’s personal items.
      •  Alcohol-based hand rub, tissues, and no-touch disposal receptacles should be available for driver and passenger use in every vehicle. Ensure supplies are maintained. 
      • Consider placing signage for cough and sneeze etiquette and hand sanitizing in vehicles where the information can be seen by passengers (e.g. in a clear plastic sleeve).
    • Perform routine environmental cleaning and disinfection of vehicles: 
        • Frequently touched surfaces are most likely to be contaminated. Examples of high-touch surfaces in vehicles include car door handles, arm rests, buttons for windows and locks, and seatbelts.
        • Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are effective against COVID-19. 
        • In addition to routine cleaning, surfaces that have frequent contact with hands should be cleaned and disinfected at the following times: 
          • at least twice per day
          • when visibly dirty
          • after transporting medical patients (e.g. to and from hospital and other health care settings) 
          • after transporting passengers who display respiratory symptoms (e.g. coughing, sneezing) 
        • Use only disinfectants that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN). A DIN is an 8-digit number given by Health Canada that confirms it is approved for use in Canada. 
        • Disinfectant wipes have combined cleaners and disinfectants in one solution. Disinfectant wipes should be discarded if they become dry and are not recommended for heavily soiled surfaces.
        • Check the expiry date of products you use and always follow manufacturer’s instructions. 
        • Employers/vehicle owners should provide all drivers with the appropriate cleaning products/disinfectant wipes for their vehicles.
    • Practice additional preventive measures while transporting passengers: 
      • Remind passengers about preventive measures to reduce risk to drivers on your website and outgoing telephone messages.  
      • Consider installing plexiglass shields as a barrier between the driver and passenger in the back seat.  
      • Ask passengers to sit in the back seat to maintain physical distance. 
      • It is strongly recommended that drivers wear a non-medical mask if physical distancing cannot be maintained. Everyone should be educated on the proper use of masks and how to safely put on and take off a mask. Please note, that when worn properly, a person wearing a non-medical mask or face covering can reduce the spread of their own infectious respiratory droplets to others. The effectiveness of non-medical masks in protecting the wearer from respiratory droplets from others is uncertain. 
      • If the passenger is being transported to or from a hospital or other health care setting and/or is displaying respiratory symptoms, ensure the windows of the car are open. If the passenger has a mask or face covering, it is recommended to be worn if possible. 

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