Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

The ACCESS program is closely monitoring the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and taking preventative measures as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. ACCESS services continue to operate as normal at this time.

The ACCESS program is included in Port Authority’s Pandemic Plan. Updates will be provided as Port Authority and the Allegheny County Health Department receive them. For more information, go to: portauthority.org/coronavirus.

To schedule a trip, please call your regular service provider. Please note that the ACCESS office is closed to visitors indefinitely, but we are still available to help by phone. Please call ACCESS customer service at (412) 562-5353 or TTY 711. You may also find the answer to your question in the “FAQ” section below.

Updates:

3/20/2020
The ACCESS office on 650 Smithfield Street is closed to visitors indefinitely. We are still available to assist with any needs at (412) 562-5353 or TTY 711.

3/13/2020
Effective immediately, all high touch surfaces inside vehicles are disinfected every evening. High touch surfaces include, but are not limited to: seatbelts, securements, lift handles and controls, stanchions, doors, window sills, steering wheels and radios.

3/13/2020

The recently announced closure of all Pennsylvania schools will not affect ACCESS service. We will continue operating as normal at this time.

FAQ:

How can riders ensure the limited spread of germs on paratransit vehicles?
All riders are encouraged to help prevent the exposure to and spread of germs and illness. Washing your hands with soap and water frequently is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of germs. Do not sneeze and cough into your hands, and instead cough or sneeze into your shoulder, sleeve, or elbow. Anyone who feels sick is encouraged to stay home and contact your doctor.

The CDC recommends keeping 6 feet of distance between you and others whenever possible. Drivers may be wearing gloves while assisting passengers as needed. If there is space available, ask your driver to seat you as far from other passengers as possible.

Graphic depicting importance of social distancing. Remain 6 feet away from others when possible

What is being done to keep paratransit vehicles clean?

All high touch surfaces inside vehicles are disinfected every evening. High touch surfaces include, but are not limited to: seatbelts, securements, lift handles and controls, stanchions, doors, window sills, steering wheels and radios. Drivers have been provided with hand sanitizer and are encouraged to continue washing their hands frequently.

Why is ACCESS service still operating? Are there any plans to alter service as the virus spreads across our region?

The ACCESS program provides necessary services connecting people to their jobs, medical appointments, and critical needs throughout Allegheny County. Federal, state, and local officials have issued a series of emergency orders and recommendations toward the voluntary and forced closure of certain business. ACCESS services, however, are deemed as “life sustaining.” Services are being operated with the COVID-19 risk in mind, and all necessary steps are being taken to protect drivers and riders. 

Should it be necessary to limit ACCESS service based on the availability of drivers and support staff, the community will be notified by automated call-outs, the ACCESS website (myaccessride.com.), and Port Authority press releases.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus? How does COVID-19 spread from person to person?

Symptoms include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you experience any of these, call your doctor. You can also use the CDC’s Symptoms Checker by visiting: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

COVID-19 is likely spread the same way other human coronaviruses, like the common cold, are spread. Coronavirus primarily spreads in respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. It can also be spread from close physical contact (touching, shaking hands) with an infected person. The virus also remains on surfaces, so it can spread from you touching the surface and then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose before washing your hands.

It’s important to note that scientists are seeing cases of COVID-19 in people who were infected by individuals who had COVID-19 but were not yet showing symptoms. We encourage everyone to take extra precautions, washing your hands frequently with soap and water, and if not available, using hand sanitizer. 

A graphic with the symptoms of COVID-19(fever, cough, shortness of breath) and recommended precautions (wash your hands, don't touch face, avoid sick people)

What other resources are available?:
Port Authority of Allegheny County

Allegheny County Health Department

United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s 2-1-1 Hotline

Allegheny County SeniorLine

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

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