RICHMOND, Va. -- Petersburg Area Transit (PAT) will resume its bus schedule days after the city's bus system announced it would suspend all fixed routes due to COVID-19. Earlier this week, the city said it would stop all service, with the exception of emergency paratransit pickups, in an effort to slow the COVID-19 spread.
When the Department of Rail and Public Transportation heard about the suspension, it informed Petersburg leaders that bus service was considered essential and could not be stopped.
"It was clear that we made a mistake, and in the process of making a mistake we have informed our general manager for transit that tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. our services will resume to full capacity," Petersburg Deputy City Manager for Development Lionel Lyons said.
PAT averages about 57,000 passengers per month.
Lyons said that number has decreased as people have stayed home due to COVID-19.
Both the state and federal governments will help PAT offset additional costs and lost revenue.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.