The CDC has recommended that the best way to avoid transmitting COVID-19 during your work commute is to travel alone. While this is the best practice under ideal circumstances, it may not be possible for everyone.
No matter how you get to work, the CDC says there are certain general recommendations you should follow.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol before and after your trip.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes, throw used tissues in the trash, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after you cough or sneeze.
- Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and other people who don’t live in your household.
- Wear a cloth face covering when you aren’t able to maintain physical distance between yourself and others. Wearing a mask on public transportation signals to others that you’re trying to keep the community safe in addition to yourself.
- Stay home when you’re sick or have been near someone who has COVID-19.
- Limit your travel if you’re older or have a disability or underlying health condition that puts you at greater risk.
- If you are at greater risk, bring a “transportation buddy” with you to help with any special needs that you have, such as carrying bags.
While traveling alone might be the best option in an ideal world, the CDC has altered their recommendations to reflect the fact that not everyone will be able to do so.
If you are using public transportation or ride sharing in order to get to your job, they recommend following the above general guidelines as well as certain specific guidelines related to your particular mode of transportation.
The full set of guidelines is available through their website. However, there are several additional important points that can be distilled from them:
- When using public transit, stay up-to-date on any changes to services and procedures. This is especially important if you require any special assistance.
- Avoid touching things. Make use of touchless payment methods and no-touch trash cans and doors whenever possible. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer as soon as possible after touching any frequently touched surfaces.
- Practice physical distancing. Travel during non-peak hours, if possible. Put at least 6 feet between yourself and other people. Follow any physical distancing markers like floor decals or signs that have been designated by your local transit authority.
- Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer as needed.
- Improve ventilation. If you’re in your own vehicle or a passenger in a ride share or taxi, try to improve the ventilation by opening windows or setting the air ventilation or air conditioning on non-recirculation mode.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces. Use disinfecting wipes to clean any frequently touched surfaces prior to use.