CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - On the same day three cases of coronavirus were confirmed in patients from Cuyahoga County, the RTA implemented new cleaning protocols to protect riders.
The plan was planned before news broke of the confirmed cases.
“It’s not time to be fearful, it’s certainly not time to panic, but it’s time to prevent,” said RTA spokesperson Linda Krecic.
The new protocols, which went into effect on Monday, call for every single bus and every train car to be deep cleaned every 24 hours. All touchable surfaces will be cleaned with chemicals recommended by the CDC.
"It's important that folks realize that RTA is here to keep Cleveland moving. We're doing everything we can for our employees," Krecic said, when 19 News asked about potential service disruptions if the Coronavirus made a more widespread impact on the area. "We're making sure our staff is healthy and in place in order to keep the buses and trains moving in order to get folks where they need to be."
The frequent riders we talked to didn't seem too concerned, but they welcome the new cleaning procedure.
“It’s a good idea, cleaning the buses thoroughly,” said Jesus Ruiz, who said he relies on public transportation most days. “A lot of people use (RTA) and you never know if anyone is sick or not, so just to make sure (you) keep everybody safe.”
"It's a good thing, I guess," echoed Renesha Willis. "I think everybody should wash their hands," she added.
And that’s exactly what the RTA is hoping for: the public’s cooperation.
“It’s safe to ride public transportation, I know folks are concerned, but it’s not time to get off public transportation,” said Krecic.