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TransLink tests anti-microbial copper coatings

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 10 Nov, 2020 10:50 PM
  • TransLink tests anti-microbial copper coatings

Officials with Metro Vancouver's transportation network say TransLink will be the first system in North America to test the use of anti-microbial copper on high-touch surfaces to better understand and reduce transmission of COVID-19 and other illnesses.

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond says the four-week pilot project is part of a study examining the effectiveness of different copper-based products and a protective coating that are to be installed on two SkyTrains and two buses in Vancouver.

Dr. Marthe Charles, a medical microbiologist with Vancouver Coastal health, says copper is toxic for micro-organisms and the coatings on high-touch surfaces will be tested twice each week to determine how well they work.

Teck Resources Ltd. is paying for the initial pilot project, which the mining company's president Don Lindsay says costs about $90,000.

Desmond says TransLink's ridership is about 42 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and that's roughly where it has levelled off since August.

The pilot project also involves the local health authority, Vancouver General Hospital, the University of British Columbia, the UBC Hospital Foundation and the Coalition for Healthcare Acquired Infection Reduction.

Also on Tuesday, WorkSafeBC said it is stepping up inspections at workplaces in the two B.C. health regions where recent restrictions have been imposed because of rising COVID-19 cases.

The agency is urging employers in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions to review and update their COVID-19 safety plans as needed.

It says workplaces that carry the highest risk for transmission are being prioritized for inspections, including sites where it's difficult to maintain a safe distance and where workers interact with large numbers of people or come into contact with shared surfaces and tools.

B.C.'s provincial health officer issued the order on Saturday requiring that those in the two health regions limit social interactions for two weeks, though Dr. Bonnie Henry has said her order could be extended past Nov. 23 or modified depending on case counts.

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