Health and Wellbeing

Director of Public Health Devon appeals to car sharers and people in the work place to take extra precautions

passenger in a car wearing a face covering Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Posted on: 3 February 2021

Devon’s Director of Public Health, Steve Brown, is concerned about the number of cases still arising in work places.

He said: “We’re still seeing cases spreading between work colleagues. It’s often not because of the work place practices themselves, it’s more a consequence of social interaction between colleagues while at work. And too often, it’s the virus spreading between colleagues who are car sharing.”

So here’s a reminder:

Firstly, while in national lockdown, we should not be leaving our homes to travel unless for work or for other permitted essential reasons.

Car sharing is not permitted with people from outside your household or support bubble, unless your journey is undertaken for an exempt reason, eg if car sharing is necessary as part of your work.

Where it’s essential to car share, you can reduce risk of transmission by:

• Ask everyone in the car to wear a face covering
• Sharing the transport with the same people each time
• Minimising the group size at any one time
• Opening windows for ventilation
• Travelling side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them
• Try to maximise distance between people in the vehicle, appreciating that social distancing is difficult in a car
• Cleaning your car between journeys using standard cleaning products, paying attention to touch points such as door handles

Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon, said:

“I’m asking everyone who needs to work from a work place, as oppose to from home, to be extra vigilant around social contact with other people at work. It’s those communal down-time moments in particular where we need to be really careful – the kitchen, the coffee breaks, the social catch ups in the corridor.

“Please follow the guidance, especially around social distancing, wearing of face coverings when inside, and washing our hands regularly.

“Too often also, we’re seeing spread of the virus through car sharing.

“The best option is not to car share, but if you must – if your journey is essential and that car sharing is the only way to make that journey – please do everything you can to minimise the risk of catching and spreading the virus between passengers.

“Putting vaccines and testing aside, we will beat coronavirus by halting the spread. Only by following the guidance – social distancing, wearing face coverings, washing our hands regularly – can we halt the spread. And if car sharing, please follow the described guidance to minimise risk to yourselves and others.”

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