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What RTD is doing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

The interim general manager and CEO shared a message to travelers about efforts to keep RTD rails & buses safe.

DENVER — The Regional Transportation District (RTD) is providing additional sanitation products to employees and continues to clean buses and rail vehicles daily as concern surrounding the novel coronavirus in Colorado increases.

That's according to a message to travelers from Interim General Manager and CEO Paul Ballard, who also said staff are "encouraged to keep their work stations/areas clean by wiping down high-touch surfaces with disinfectant or sanitizing wipes."

"We take this very seriously and are taking measures to keep our employees healthy and our vehicles clean for you," Ballard wrote.

> In the video above, 9Health Expert Dr. Payal Kohli answers questions about the COVID-19 specifically related to large events and travel.

Health officials announced Colorado's first presumed positive case on Thursday, March 5. Since then, numerous other presumed positive cases have been confirmed. The results for anyone tested at a local level are considered “presumptive positive” until the CDC confirms the cases.   

NUMBERS: Colorado COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that first appeared in Wuhan, China in late 2019. This new strain of coronavirus began popping up in the United States in February.  

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and breathing trouble. Most develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal. 

RELATED: BLOG: Tracking the coronavirus updates in Colorado

Ballard said service and cleaning teams wipe down handrails and other high-touch surfaces with disinfectant or sanitizing wipes daily.

Scientists are unsure how long the virus lasts on surfaces because it depends on what type of surface it is, what the environmental conditions are, how many viral particles were inoculated on the surface. Some scientists estimate the virus may be able to last on unsanitized surfaces for several days.

If you ride RTD buses or rails, you can help prevent virus spreading by:

  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying home when you are sick. 

RELATED: FAQs: Answering your questions on the coronavirus in Colorado

RTD had about 95 million boardings from December 2018 to November 2019, the latest data available.