Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Last updated 11/23/2020

The ACCESS program is closely monitoring the spread and mitigation 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. To schedule a trip, please call your regular service provider.

Click here to learn more about the ACCESS program’s coronavirus response in the community.

Customer service staff are still available to help by phone Monday through Friday 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m.  at (412) 562-5353 or TTY 711. You may also find the answer to your question in the “FAQ” section below. Applications and ePurse deposit and refund request forms will still be processed in a timely manner. While the ACCESS program office remains closed to visitors, you may call the program office to set up an appointment to make ePurse deposits or drop off applications Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You must wear a mask to enter the building.

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.

The ACCESS program and ACCESS service providers are taking all necessary precautions as the pandemic continues.

  • All high touch surfaces inside vehicles are disinfected throughout the day and 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.
  • Masks are required in ACCESS vehicles. Effective April 20, 2020, in line with orders from Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, public transit riders are required to wear a mask. Masks can be homemade—they do not need to be medical grade. If you do not have a mask or are unable to wear a mask, please call the ACCESS program office at (412) 562-5353 or TTY 711.

Masks can slow the spread of germs and prevent individuals from touching their face and spreading germs further. To learn how to make a homemade mask, see the ACCESS guide:

FAQ:

How can riders ensure the limited spread of germs on 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.

In line with orders from Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, public transit riders are required to wear a mask. This applies to all ACCESS trips. Masks can be homemade–they do not need to be medical grade. If you do not have a mask or are unable to wear a mask, please call the ACCESS program office at (412) 562-5353 or TTY 711.

The CDC recommends keeping 6 feet of distance between you and others whenever possible. Drivers are required to wear gloves and masks, and riders are required to wear masks while on board. Social distancing is enforced in all vehicles.

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

What is being done to keep vehicles clean?

All high touch surfaces inside vehicles are disinfected throughout the day and 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, gloves, and masks, and are encouraged to continue washing their hands frequently.

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. ACCESS services are deemed as “life sustaining,” and will continue to operate. 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 showing symptoms yet or at all (asymptomatic). 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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