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Detroit Mayor Duggan announces new safety measures on DDOT buses due to coronavirus concerns

DETROIT – After a driver shortage shut down the DDOT bus system on Tuesday, Mayor Duggan announced new safety measures for drivers.

“You can see those drivers being at a high risk of exposure because of the number of people coming into close contact,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

Duggan addressed news stations on Tuesday afternoon. He announced there are changes coming to the Detroit Department of Transportation after thousands of drivers walked off the job Tuesday morning.

“We need to put a lot more resources into cleaning, given what we’re facing,” Duggan said.

DDOT bus riders said they were concerned about their safety and health when driving the buses. Especially with the Coronavirus spreading rapidly across the globe.

"A number of things affected us with the public coming on. We didn’t want to get sick and affect the public and we didn’t want them to get sick and we needed measures put into place,” said Glenn Tolbert with ATU.

Duggan announced all DDOT fares are suspended in order to reduce close contact between drivers and passengers. There will be new cleaning schedules and routines for all buses. Drivers will wear gloves and use disinfectant wipes.

“We will ask all passengers not to come into the front but to all board and deboard through the rear doors,” said Duggan.

Restaurants will allow drivers to use the bathroom at the end of their shifts. Although there is an agreement now, between the city and DDOT. All day Tuesday thousands of bus riders like Carl Brown, were left stranded.

“I ride the bus daily, going to my place of employment. It was a little unusual just coming out of the house and I was like where the buses at?” said Carl Brown.

Mayor Duggan said there were about 8-9 city employees, who were tested for Coronavirus and they are waiting back for those test results. At least one of those workers is a DDOT bus driver.

Things will pick back up Wednesday at 3 a.m.

MORE: Here’s which Michigan counties have confirmed cases of coronavirus

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can 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, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

MORE: Beaumont Health launches coronavirus hotline for patients with symptoms

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.


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