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Richmond Greyhound employee calls out lack of proper sanitization during COVID-19 crisis

“You just have people running through running in and out and nothing is being sanitized."
Posted at 12:17 AM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 07:46:59-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond Greyhound worker says the bus liner and government aren't doing enough to keep employees safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We still have many buses that are coming in,” said the employee who did not want to be identified.

On any given day, eight bus loads pull into the Richmond Greyhound terminal from New York. For the employee, who spoke to CBS-6 on the condition of anonymity, that’s too many right now.

“I think they should reduce some of the routes to and from different places, especially places that have been reported that they have high volumes of this coronavirus and New York is one of them.”

New York leads the country in confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 20,0000 and hundreds of deaths.

They are sobering statistics that have some who make a living inside the Richmond Greyhound terminal concerned.

“We talk to these people face to face, we handle money, we handle tickets, we have to pull luggage off the bus, we have to put it on the bus and you just don't know."

That same kind of uncertainty has led to Florida's Governor issuing an executive order requiring anyone traveling to his state from the New York area to do a mandatory 14 day self isolation.

“That's the only way we can be sure that that virus is not going to be reintroduced in the state of Florida and then spread,” said, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

We asked Governor Ralph Northam if he is considering a similar executive order in the Commonwealth.

A spokesperson for the Governor said, “It is important that our roads and highways remain open to move essential personnel and critical supplies but that this is a quickly changing situation and the Governor will continue to make decisions in the best interest of Virginians.”

The best thing to do in the meantime, according to the concerned employee, would be to regularly clean and disinfect the terminal but the employee said that's not being done.

“You just have people running through running in and out and nothing is being sanitized,” said the employee.

On Greyhound's website under its coronavirus update center, the bus liner outlines the measures it's taking by enhancing cleaning efforts on its most frequently used areas of buses.

When it comes to the terminals, Greyhound says they are taking a “team approach.”

“We have a worksheet that you have to clean the counter and things once within your work shift but that’s an 8 hour shift we see a lot of people within an 8 hour shift,” the employee explained.

“When it first came out we did get a can of Lysol, a small bottle of hand sanitizer but that`s gone, so you're pretty much bringing your own.”

“I’ve had to bring in sanitizer, my own gloves, Lysol, the mask, things like that to protect myself,” said the employee.

“Should you be having to do that?” asked, CBS 6 investigative reporter Laura French.

“No, I shouldn’t have to be using my own money to do what my company should be doing," the employee responded.

The employee also wants to see that the restrooms are sanitized around the clock.

“Sometimes you don't have a janitor, so within an 8 hour shift you don't have a janitor and floors aren't being mopped, chairs aren't being sanitized sometimes restrooms aren't being cleaned the whole 8 hour shift.”

The employee says that the lack of cleaning could cause more local spread, and lead employees like her down a path no one wants to travel.

“What’s your biggest fear?” asked French.

“That I’ll catch it.” said the employee. “When you’re living with people who have chronic illness you don’t want to take that home.”

“Their responsibility is our safety. It’s a global business I understand that, but our safety your passengers’ safety, is very important. As far as the employees, we could have gloves, you could provide us with masks you could provide us with the proper sanitation. We need to be protected.”

Greyhound provided CBS 6 with the following statement,

"We continue to work closely with our teams at our owned terminals and outside agencies working on our behalf, like Richmond, to ensure the enhanced proper sanitation procedures are being followed in accordance with our coronavirus protocol, which includes:

  • Increased cleaning efforts surrounding our most frequently used areas including restrooms, door handles and counters.
  • Increased cleaning in more areas, more frequently, at our terminals.
  • Requiring employees sign a thorough checklist of sanitized objects and areas after the conclusion of each shift.
  • Equipping maintenance staff with supplies for routine, post trip sanitation of buses

Our team members and cleaning agencies are thoroughly trained in sanitation procedures, with a specific emphasis on coronavirus preparedness. They have each been provided with an abundance of supplies for properly disinfecting and sanitizing employee and customer areas. We will continue enforcing proper cleaning protocols as recommended by the CDC throughout all our locations."

CBS 6 also reached out to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with questions about whether it would consider restrictions on mass transit during this COVID-19 pandemic. They referred us to their website and FMCSA’s emergency declaration as well as its companion Frequently Asked Questions.