On Friday, February 28, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp established the Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force to coordinate all of the state’s resources as Georgia prepares for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). State health leaders, emergency management officials, and the SRTA office have been in constant contact with our federal, state, and local partners regarding the impact the virus could have on state operations.

The health of Georgia’s communities, citizens, workforce and workplace safety are top priorities for all of us. In light of the current news about COVID-19, we at SRTA want to provide guidance to assist you with your concerns. We cannot stress enough the need to calm fears with facts from reliable sources such as our public sector partners at the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

SRTA Prevention Efforts to Protect Customers

What is the state of Georgia doing about the Coronavirus?

State health leaders, emergency management officials, and SRTA (GRTA, ATL) leadership and staff have been in constant contact with our federal, state, and local partners including the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stay informed on the most current and accurate information related to the Coronavirus and methods of prevention. The health of Georgia’s citizens, workforce and workplace safety are top priorities for everyone.

How is GRTA (Xpress) educating their drivers and employees about the Coronavirus?

Prevention and educational information have been shared with all our employees. Coronavirus prevention information has been shared with each bus operator and educational meetings were held by Transdev with their bus operators. Coronavirus information posters and reminders are being posted up in all areas (Administration offices, Maintenance, Dispatch, the Drivers Lounge, and the kitchen and bathrooms) of transit dispatch facilities.

How is Xpress working to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus?

Our prevention efforts regarding our employees, Xpress fleet and drivers include the following measures:

  1. Bus operators are being provided hand sanitizer, germicidal wipes, and spray to be used in Driver and Dispatch areas
  2. Each Bus operator is being provided with a personal hand sanitizer.
  3. Automatic hand sanitizers are centrally located on all floors of our office headquarters.
  4. Hand sanitizers and tissues are kept stocked in employee supply room for personal use
  5. SRTA has enhanced its cleaning regimen which includes a combination of both daily activities and sequenced deep anti-viral cleanings. Xpress dispatch facilities are conducting daily cleanings of equipment, high touch areas and or high foot traffic areas using products promoted to eliminate 99.9 % of germs, daily trash disposal and daily inspections of the buses. In addition,  SRTA is taking steps to increase staffing and to procure additional supplies to expand its deep cleaning efforts.
  6. All employees are being educated about the coronavirus
  7. We are sharing prevention information on our website and through our social media channels for our customers.
  8. To practice social distancing and to provide a safe ride, we are limiting the number of passengers per trip on the coaches.

Is it safe to ride the Xpress bus?

To date, of the reported cases of the Coronavirus in the state of Georgia, there have been none who were known to be Xpress passengers.

How Can Customers Contribute to a Safe Commute for Everyone?

SRTA encourages Xpress commuters to practice these prevention habits while riding Xpress:

  1. Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol content) and use it after you leave the bus if you don’t have access to water or soap right away.
  2. Clean your phone screen with an antibacterial wipe and wash your hands with soap and water after touching your phone.
  3. Don’t touch your face, whether you’re on or off Xpress. The CDC recommends avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, specifically.
  4.  If you’re on a crowded bus and someone is coughing and you can’t physically step away, face your back towards the person coughing.
  5.  Limit contact with high touch areas. If you decide to use a napkin or tissue to touch high touch areas, discard the tissue in an enclosed trash bin afterward.
  6. Sanitize your pursebag or briefcase and keep it off the floor and other surfaces. This includes the bottom of the bag, especially if it sits on the floor any time during your travels.

About COVID-19

What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.

Are Georgians at risk for COVID-19?

Risk is based on exposure. For the general public in Georgia, the immediate health risk of COVID-19 is considered low, at this time.

How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. The same measures that are urged to prevent the spread of any respiratory virus are increasingly important for all Georgians:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Get a flu shot!
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Who can be infected with COVID-19?

Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity. No one race or ethnicity are any more likely to get COVID-19 than any other group. Help stop fear by letting people know that a person’s race or ethnicity does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 spreads the same way the flu and other respiratory diseases spread, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. It is thought that 80% of patients with confirmed COVID-19 have mild symptoms. In very severe cases, patients with COVID-19 have developed pneumonia in both lungs.

Does CDC recommend the use of face masks in the community to prevent COVID-19?

CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a health care professional recommends it.

Where can additional information be obtained about COVID-19?

Depend on reliable sources for information about COVID-19 to reduce fear and misinformation. The Georgia Department of Public Health will continue to update Georgians through its website: https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus, Facebook and Twitter. The CDC has comprehensive information and situation updates about COVID-19 on their website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html