The lobby has been designated a handshake-free zone. Pump bottles of hand sanitizer, already a fixture, have been replaced by automatic dispensers. Cleaning crews are on site multiple times a day. No more than 10 customers are allowed inside at a given time.
As with everyone else these days, the staff at Lindsay Volkswagen of Dulles in Sterling, Va., is emphasizing hygiene practices and implementing new measures to help stave off coronavirus.
"We're doing what we can to minimize physical interactions and reduce the time in the dealership if customers do decide they want to physically visit," said Jerry Holloway, the dealership's general manager. "Customers can upload documents ahead of time. There's so much they can do ahead of time."
From car dealerships to public- transit operators, businesses and organizations that provide rides have been rethinking procedures and, perhaps more broadly, ushering in a new era of mobility in which cleaning must be bolstered and customers and employees alike must be reassured that vehicles are virus-free.Concerns are everywhere. On March 17, bus service in Detroit ground to a halt for the day because almost all of the city's 500-plus bus drivers, expressing fears for their health, didn't show up for work. Service resumed the next day after the Detroit Department of Transportation, among other actions, agreed to suspend fares to reduce close contact between drivers and passengers. Passengers can now enter and exit buses only through the rear door.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority created a task force to confront coronavirus and ensure high-touch areas are frequently cleaned. Buses and trains are being cleaned "at least" once daily, officials say, as they review cleaning protocols.
In the private sector, fleet managers such as RideKleen are working to ensure their cleaning products can kill COVID-19. A company spokesperson says employees are developing and testing a new cleaning solution, though there's no firm time frame for when it will be ready for market.
Ford Motor Co. says it has developed new disinfection procedure guidelines for its dealer network using products approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.