As businesses start to reopen and people in wheelchairs have more opportunity to venture out into the world again, now more than ever it’s crucial to communicate the best practices that will help keep us all safe and healthy - especially if you’re transporting senior citizens, people with compromised immune systems, or anyone who has recently traveled.
If you own or operate a business that provides wheelchair accessible transport to any business that moves people, such as hotels, airports, care homes or non-emergency medical transport, then it’s your responsibility to pay attention to the CDC guidelines in the best interest of your customers, employees and business.
The following is an excerpt of the CDC guidelines to follow for any business that uses non-emergency transport vehicles. These are also important considerations for any non-emergency transport vehicles that have transported individuals in the past with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.
People who are known or suspected to have COVID-19 may use non-emergency vehicle services, such as passenger vans, accessible vans, and cars, for transportation to receive essential medical care.
When transporting a known confirmed positive passenger, it is recommended that drivers wear an N95 respirator or facemask (if a respirator is not available) and eye protection such as a face shield or goggles (as long as they do not create a driving hazard), and the passenger should wear a facemask or cloth face covering.
Occupants of these vehicles should avoid or limit close contact (within 6 feet) with others.
The use of larger vehicles such as vans is recommended when feasible to allow greater social (physical) distance between vehicle occupants.
Additionally, drivers should practice regular hand hygiene, avoid touching their nose, mouth, or eyes, and avoid picking up multiple passengers who would not otherwise be riding together on the same route.
In addition to following the guidelines when transporting people, there are also cleaning guidelines recommended by the CDC that should also be followed:
- Doors and windows should remain open when cleaning the vehicle.
- When cleaning and disinfecting, individuals should wear disposable gloves compatible with the products being used as well as any other PPE required according to the product manufacturer’s instructions.
- Use of a disposable gown is also recommended, if available.
- For hard non-porous surfaces within the interior of the vehicle such as hard seats, arm rests, door handles, seat belt buckles, light and air controls, doors and windows, and grab handles, clean with detergent or soap and water if the surfaces are visibly dirty, prior to disinfectant application.
- For soft or porous surfaces such as fabric seats, remove any visible contamination, if present, and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces.
- For frequently touched electronic surfaces, such as tablets or touch screens used in the vehicle, remove visible dirt, then disinfect following the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
Click here to read the full list of CDC guidelines and for a list of recommended cleaning products and solutions.
It’s important to ensure that these cleaning and disinfection procedures are followed by your staff and customers consistently and correctly to keep everyone as healthy as possible. If the current state of your business is giving you more time to think about updates and improvements to your vehicle fleet, contact us at Nor Cal Vans to find out more about wheelchair van conversions.