LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Los Angeles County supervisor Monday urged Metro to require face coverings for all bus and train passengers in an effort to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Supervisor Janice Hahn, who along with four other county supervisors, holds a seat on the 13-member Metro board, wrote a letter to CEO Phil Washington.
“Given what we know about the COVID-19 virus, the policy of not requiring face coverings puts both Metro passengers and bus drivers at risk,” Hahn wrote.
She said her outreach was spurred by a Los Angeles Times article offering accounts of Metro bus drivers fearful about their health and that of their passengers.
An existing public health order requires people to cover their faces at grocery, drug stores and other essential businesses, but Metro has given bus drivers the ability to decide whether to allow passengers on board without face coverings.
In early April, the transit authority recommend face coverings for all passengers and asked “everyone to continue limiting travel to only essential trips, maintain physical distance from others, wash hands frequently and use other good hygiene practices.”
Metro also requires all bus operators to use the transparent protective barrier that helps isolate them.
“Because so many other essential workers, from grocery store employees to restaurant workers, rely on Metro to get to and from work, Metro’s decision not to require face coverings threatens to compound the spread of this virus across our county,” Hahn wrote.
Metro has confirmed 57 coronavirus cases, including contractors, vendors and seven people identified as bus drivers.
Hahn asked Washington to take immediate action rather than wait for the board’s May 28 meeting.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)