Metro News Release

For immediate release: April 28, 2009

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Metro takes precautions to protect from H1N1 swine flu
Riders asked to take basic actions to stay healthy

Questions and Answers about the H1N1 Flu.

Metro is using an environmentally friendly, hospital-grade disinfectant cleaner to wipe down surfaces throughout the Metro system to help keep riders and employees from catching the flu.

Each flu season, Metro uses the special hospital-grade disinfectant to protect riders and employees from contracting flu viruses. Though the traditional seasonal flu season has ended, Metro is continuing to use the hospital-grade disinfectant because of the recent outbreak in swine flu cases.

The disinfectant is used to clean and disinfect “touch-surfaces” in the Metrorail and Metrobus systems. Metrobuses and Metrorail trains are disinfected weekly, and will undergo more frequent cleaning if necessary. Metrorail station equipment is disinfected daily. Touch surfaces inside vehicles include fareboxes, steering wheels, seats, back-of-seat handles, floor-to-ceiling and seat-to-ceiling poles, and overhead grab bars and handles. In addition, fare machines, fare gate targets and farecard slots in rail stations are wiped down with the special disinfectant. MetroAccess will begin cleaning its vehicles weekly with the environmentally friendly, hospital-grade disinfectant as well.

Metro riders are urged to take basic precautions to protect themselves and their fellow riders, including frequent hand washing, covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or coughing or sneezing into the upper sleeve, not hands when a tissue is not available, and avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth. To keep their hands clean while traveling, riders should carry tissues, waterless hand-sanitizing gels or disinfecting wipes.

“It is important to remember that there are no reported cases of swine flu in the region. Riding Metro is safe and it’s something I do daily,” said Metro General Manager John Catoe. “However, Metro is taking precautions to keep riders and employees safe, and I’m being extra careful too before and after boarding a bus or train.”

Metro Chief Safety Officer Alexa Dupigny-Samuels said, “Using good personal hygiene can reduce everyone’s risk of catching diseases. Good health habits include washing your hands often, covering your mouth and nose with your elbow when coughing or sneezing, avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth, avoiding close contact with those who are ill and staying home when you are sick.”

The following resources have more information about the swine flu:


Media contact for this news release: Cathy Asato or Lisa Farbstein at 202-962-1051.

News release issued at 3:03 pm, April 28, 2009.

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