Keeping People Protected on Public Transit as Life Returns to Normal

(StatePoint) With the post-pandemic phase on the horizon, people are reconsidering the meaning of the word “safety.” This is particularly true for those who ride public transit.

Public transportation keeps America running by connecting people to their jobs, essential services and more. But experts say that as new COVID-19 variants emerge while ridership returns to pre-pandemic levels, transit agencies will need a strategic solution to keep riders and employees safe from germs.

“People underestimate how quickly viruses can be transferred via surfaces. In fact, the hand is quicker than a sneeze when it comes to how quickly a virus or bacteria can cause infection,” says University of Arizona researcher and leading expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Charles P. Gerba, Ph.D. “The subway is the second highest-risk place for germ exposure after cruise ships, where you have a lot of people coming and going, standing close together and touching the same handrails, poles and surfaces.”

According to Dr. Gerba, keeping people safe in such highly-trafficked conditions needs to go beyond cleaning with just soap and water, which can’t guarantee full coverage, provides only momentary disinfection and leaves surfaces immediately vulnerable to recontamination.

A new EPA-approved product, SurfaceWise2 from biotechnology company Allied BioScience, offers hope of more reliable protection on public transportation. Providing continuous protection from COVID-19 with a single application when used as directed, it has the potential to be the foundation of transit systems’ comprehensive safety plans to protect against coronaviruses and other viruses and bacteria, which often spread via surface transmission. Independent lab studies conducted by Dr. Gerba found it effective against Human Coronavirus 229E, the EPA-approved surrogate, demonstrating its ability to successfully protect against COVID-19. Coated surfaces were found to reduce the concentration of these viruses by greater than 99.9% after two hours of contact, much quicker than the time it takes for the viruses to die naturally.

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The only lasting antiviral surface coating with EPA approval, SurfaceWise2 offers weeks of protection against a variety of illness-causing pathogens with just a single application, making it a viable and affordable choice for busy transit systems currently tasked with regular and time-consuming deep cleans of stations, buses and trains. Its quick electrostatic application reduces human error, cuts downtime -- critical for transit systems -- and ensures precise, complete coverage on virtually any surface. Carrying the lowest possible EPA toxicity rating, it’s also safe for people and the environment. To learn more, visit www.surfacewise.com.

“Using an effective long-term coating to protect surfaces, alongside other precautions like mask-wearing and social distancing, is how our country can keep these transportation lifelines safe for the American public,” says Dr. Gerba.

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Photo Credit: (c) Drazen Zigic / iStock via Getty Images Plus