27th Jun, 2022

West Midlands public health chief in carshare warning

John Carlon 7th Aug, 2020 Updated: 12th Aug, 2020

THE WEST Midlands public health chief has asked workers in the region to think twice before offering a lift to colleagues.

Dr Sue Ibbotson, the West Midlands regional director for Public Health England, said a recent uptick in workplace coronavirus infections could be due to carshares.

Speaking alongside West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, Dr Ibbotson said colleagues should take precautions when travelling together to work.

“We’ve had a number of Covid-19 outbreaks in workplaces now,” she said, ” andin some of those situations it has become apparent that car sharing has contributed to the spread of the virus.”

“It would be very useful for colleagues to help prevent the spread of the virus in their cars.

“Before sharing a car with someone outside your household, consider other forms of transport like cycling or walking, there are huge health benefits from doing those things instead of going in your car.

“If you do decide that car sharing is in your best interest, you can protect your fellow passengers by considered a travel buddy system, so that you are traveling with the same person each time.

“The second point is to maximise the distance between people in the vehicle, so keep to one person per row.

“Keep windows open for ventilation, try to touch as few surfaces as possible, we encourage passengers to do the same. And clean the areas people may touch between journeys.

“Remember you are in a small enclosed space so passengers are advised to wear their face covering, and try not to talk loudly or sing or face each other as this will increase the risk of transmission.”

She added that levels of coronavirus cases this week (August 7) stood at 11.6 per 100,000 in the West Midlands, compared to a national average in England of 7.8 per 100,000.

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