GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- The City of Green Bay and Green Bay Metro Transit have decided to suspend public transportation Monday due to increasing concern over the coronavirus.
In a statement, officials say they are suspending transportation in an effort to ensure the safety of employees, riders and the general public.
Although transportation services will be halted until further notice, Paratransit services will remain in operation for all necessary medical trips. Paratransit riders should continue to call 920-448-3185 to schedule a trip.
Green Bay Metro Suspends Public Transit Services until Further Notice: Beginning March 16, 2020, Green Bay Metro Suspends bus service until further notice. Paratransit for medically necessary trips will continue. https://t.co/68qoiGL6xF— City of Green Bay (@CityofGreenBay) March 16, 2020
Director of Green Bay Metro, Patricia Kiewiz, said, “Social distancing is critical at this time to keep everyone healthy and safe. This is difficult to do with the services Green Bay Metro provides. We are committed to reinstating transportation services when we can ensure a safe environment for our employees, riders and the public.”
Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich said, “I do not take the decision to suspend transit services lightly, but I am committed to taking any and all actions to keep our community safe and our employees well, in the days ahead. I regret the disruption this will have on the lives of our residents and employers. However, we must err on the side of caution and public safety, as we navigate these uncharted waters.”
Valley Transit will remain open and running for normal business hours at this time: "We encourage our riders to use their best judgment before getting on board and only ride out of necessity."
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Please know at Valley Transit we take your safety and health as our utmost priority. pic.twitter.com/iewXfHptLs— Valley Transit (@ValleyTransit) March 16, 2020
THE SPREAD AND PREVENTION
Older people and those with underlying health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease) are considered at high risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People with those conditions should take the proper precautions.
COVID-19 is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
"The virus is found in droplets from the throat and nose. When someone coughs or sneezes, other people near them can breathe in those droplets. The virus can also spread when someone touches an object with the virus on it. If that person touches their mouth, face, or eyes the virus can make them sick," says the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. CLICK HERE for more information on symptoms. Emergency signs include pain and pressure in the chest, confusion and bluish lips or face.
The CDC believes symptoms may appear between two and 14 days after contact with an infected person.
DHS recommends taking these steps to help stop the spread of the virus:
--Frequent and thorough handwashing with soap and water.
--Covering coughs and sneezes.
--Avoiding touching your face.
--Staying home when sick.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending everyone in the United States avoid large events and mass gatherings for at least eight weeks.
The virus originated in Wuhan, China. The spread started in December 2019.