The TTC will now allow employees to wear face masks at work
The TTC is making several policy changes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, starting with allowing employees to wear face masks at work.
Up until today, all TTC and Metrolinx employees were forbidden from wearing face masks while on the job. But TTC spokesperson Stuart Green announced that this policy — along with several others — is being modified and implemented over the next 24 hours.
"The #TTC is changing policies. Also lending support to important City efforts to combat the spread of #COVID19 among our most vulnerable," he wrote on Twitter. "It's a dynamic and evolving issue and we constantly assess our response in consultation with public health experts."
The #TTC is changing policies. Also lending support to important City efforts to combat the spread of #COVID19 among our most vulnerable. It's a dynamic and evolving issue and we constantly assess our response in consultation with public health experts. pic.twitter.com/1wk7emPf1t— TTCStuart (@TTCStuart) March 18, 2020
Green also tweeted an outline of all three policy changes being implemented on the TTC between today and tomorrow.
He said TTC employees who choose to wear their own masks will be permitted to do so in order to provide comfort for workers, despite the fact that masks are not recommended as they often lead to more face touching.
Green's outline also notes that the TTC will implement all-door boarding on all vehicles in order to avoid creating pinch points at single door entry and allow for further social distancing among passengers and operators.
On top of that, the TTC is working with the City, Toronto Public Health and Toronto Community Housing to help some of Toronto's most vulnerable residents.
"Starting shortly, when community housing clients are identified as symptomatic with COVID-19, Wheel-Trans will transport the patients to a healthcare centre for testing and then to an isolation centre if required," the notice states.
"Operators who undertake this work will be outfitted with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as will patients, as outlined by Toronto Public Health guidelines. Wheel-Trans will dedicate vehicles to these trips and will undergo intense cleaning protocols."
Green also said Wheel-Trans operators will have access to supplied and properly fitted masks for hospital trips.
This change comes after Ontario reported 212 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the province today, up from a total of 186 patients reported on Tuesday night, with five cases now marked as resolved and one as deceased.
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