August 19, 2020 LEAMINGTON – South Essex Community Council (SECC) has been providing safe, reliable, affordable and accessible transportation for more than 30 years and COVID-19 has not changed that. With the recent announcement that Windsor-Essex is able to advance into Ontario’s Stage 3 re-opening plan, SECC is fully prepared to meet an increased demand for services and will do it in a way that is safe for drivers and for riders.

Vehicles were always thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis before the pandemic, but cleaning and disinfection have been increased to include the sanitization of all common touch surfaces including door handles, seat belts and wheelchair safety restraints after riders leave the vehicle and before proceeding to the next pick up. A thorough cleaning and sanitization is still completed at the end of every day, including the use of a new disinfectant fogging machine to get into every corner and reach all surfaces.

“SECC is committed to the safety and well-being of its clients, staff and volunteers,” says Mark Wybenga, Department Coordinator of Community Services. Drivers have been equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks, face shields and gloves, and everyone has received training in the proper use of PPE. Seating has been arranged to reduce the total number of passengers in a vehicle at any one time and allow for physical distancing in each vehicle. The maximum number of seats on buses is four and on vans will transport only one person at a time.

Riders will be screened over the phone and on the day of service. Riders will be asked to sanitize their hands upon boarding the bus and to wear a face mask if able to do so. Masks will be provided for those who do not have one.

Wybenga states that, “We are confident that the steps we have taken will continue to ensure the safest means of accessible public transportation for the residents of Leamington, Kingsville and Wheatley. We are looking forward to welcoming previous clients and new riders in need of transportation around the community.”

If you or a loved one is in need of safe transportation to appointments or shopping, please call SECC at (519) 326-8629 for more information, and to book a ride. Transportation is available Monday through Friday with local service five days per week and rides to Windsor and other regions in Essex County on select days.

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