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Detroit cab drivers fight to make ends meet

DETROIT – Taxi cab drivers are often overlooked when it to those working on the frontlines.

They provide an essential job and put themselves at risk.

Kevin McDonald was behind the wheel of his cab all day Wednesday, but -- for his own safety -- he wasn’t picking up fares for rides.

“I am not driver, I am doing a food-drive delivering food," McDonald said. "I’m delivering food for a few people out here who can’t get the food.”

With coronavirus concerns, McDonald said he stopped picking up fares a few weeks ago because it’s too dangerous.

He said people try to hail him down when he’s making a quick grocery run for his family. He did pick up one man who had bags of groceries that needed to get home right away.

He said other cab drivers lease their cabs and have to work through the COVID-19 outbreak to make money. Drivers tell him they pick up a fare, disinfect the cab and then pick up another.

McDonald said he’s helping the company he drives for apply for a small business loan to help the company -- and its drivers -- get through this time.

Anyone who believes they might have coronavirus should follow the CDC guidelines. Michigan.gov has a list of resources available to those concerned about COVID-19.

More information on coronavirus (COVID-19):

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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