Passengers on a King County Metro bus. File photo

Passengers on a King County Metro bus. File photo

King County transit agencies say stay home if you’re sick

Metro and Sound Transit continue to operate normal routes for now.

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread in Washington state, transit officials are urging people with symptoms to stay home if they can.

Both King County Metro and Sound Transit issued press releases telling people to work from home or avoid transit if possible. COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, has killed six in Washington state and has sickened dozens more. Health officials are expecting many more cases that as of yet have been undetected or unreported.

Metro is currently operating normal routes and schedules. Crews vacuum buses daily and clean areas which are unsanitary, according to the agency. However, buses only undergo a deep clean once a month.

If buses become unsanitary, they are removed from service and receive a thorough cleaning before being returned to service. Unsanitary conditions can be reported to Metro employees or by calling 206-553-3000.

If riders need to use transit, Metro said riders should cover all coughs and sneezes, avoid touching their faces and wash hands frequently.

Sound Transit said crews are cleaning vehicles and facilities more frequently and removing vehicles from service if there is a biohazard. Cleaning is focused on “high touch” areas such as handrails, escalators and elevator buttons.

Sound Transit’s security office can be reached 24 hours a day at 206-398-5268.

The agency also urged riders to stay home if they have symptoms. Riders are urged to wash their hands frequently and avoid touching their face.

Social distancing was also recommended — the practice of staying away from others when possible, especially those with symptoms.

“We all know that can be difficult on transit, but remember it’s not rude to get up and move if you need to,” the press release said.

“Right now we’re really in the process of trying to understand what the current cleaning protocal are and what adjustments may be needed to make sure that they adhere to the guidelines from the state,” Sound Transit spokesperson John Gallagher said.

The state Department of Health has set up a coronavirus hotline that can be reached by calling 1-800-525-0127 and pressing #.

So far, six people have died of the virus in the U.S., all of whom died in Washington state. Five were from King County and one was from Snohomish County. Officials have said the virus may have been circulating for as long as six weeks, largely undetected.

King County is purchasing a motel to be used as a quarantine site, and is setting up modular units around the county. The locations are expected to be announced later this week. The county declared an emergency on March 1, allowing more funding to be directed toward fighting the outbreak.

So far, it appears that the virus is most deadly to the elderly and those who have preexisting health conditions.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

The memorial service for Bothell police officer Jonathan Shoop on Tuesday.
Memorial honors fallen Bothell police officer Jonathan Shoop

After a motorcade through the city, the rookie cop’s two brothers spoke at a service Tuesday in Bothell.

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Inslee mask graphic
Free mask event for King County residents, Aug. 4 in Bellevue

The drive-thru distribution event will offer two masks per person

Primary election 2020: Who will emerge as Inslee’s challenger?

Voting ends Tuesday in an election without big rallies and fund-raisers and face-to-face debates

Sex ed, local control at heart of race for WA state schools chief

Incumbent Chris Reykdal faces five foes who argue he’s pushing too many state policies on school districts.

Bothell officer shot, killed man who reportedly had knife

Police said the man was slashing tires. He “advanced” on the officer with the knife, detectives say.

Cold-case arrest made in 1993 homicide of Bothell teenager

After more than 27 years, a discarded cigarette butt was used to link a suspect to the crime scene.

Most Read