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Is It Safe To Ride LA Metro In The Age Of Coronavirus?

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Coronavirus concern is everywhere. We're stocking up on hand sanitizer, toilet paper and guns. We're Googling it at a wild rate. Cancel culture has a whole new meaning.

As people navigate the COVID-19 landscape, there have been questions about the safety of taking public transportation.

We talked to county officials from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Department of Public Health about what they're doing — and what riders can do — to protect themselves and others.

Here's a quick guide:

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If you're sick, stay home. That's the single best protection against coronavirus — and any other infectious disease, according to Barbara Ferrer, director of L.A County Public Health.

"[L.A. Metro] can do all the cleaning in the world, but if sick people continue to come out, use public transit, cough on other people, sit closely to other people, stand closely to other people, they'll just continue to [spread infections]," she said. "Not just the possible spread for COVID-19 but the spread of influenza and other kinds of infectious diseases that are in our midst."

Whenever possible, leave about 6 feet of space between you and anyone with a cough or fever. That presents some obvious challenges on public transit, so, if possible, take less crowded buses and trains. That may mean leaving earlier or later for work — which isn't a possibility for some who rely on the system to get to their jobs on time.

Keep your hands clean. Use sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) after touching common surfaces like handrails, turnstiles, handles and poles.

Do less with your hands. Use your hip or back of your hand when passing through turnstiles and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.


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