GO Transit launches study to determine presence of COVID-19 in air, on surfaces in busiest Ontario stations

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Published September 23, 2021 at 9:47 am

Metrolinx has announced it is working to improve current safety measures in the fight against COVID-19.

The transit company is launching a pilot study of environmental sampling to determine the presence of the virus in the air and on surfaces.

Based on what public health currently knows about the virus, the most common form of transmission is through respiratory droplets or aerosols from an infectious person.

Because aerosols can linger in the air for a period of time before settling on surfaces, the study aims to determine how this can facilitate its spread.

Control measures will include environmental sampling consisting of collecting air and surface swab samples from high-traffic and frequently-touched surfaces inside Union Station, Union Station Bus Terminal, buses, and trains.

Collected samples will be stored at 2ºC to 8ºC and sent to an accredited laboratory and analyzed.

While the samples won’t necessarily determine the degree of infectiousness, they should be able to determine the potential for transmission by determining if the virus is detected in these environments.

The final results of the study will be made available in the coming weeks.

Cover photo courtesy of Metrolinx

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