For Immediate Release
February 2, 2021
Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) officials would like to remind Fairfax Connector passengers that they must wear a mask or a face covering, as now federally mandated, when taking public transit or visiting an indoor transit hub in Fairfax County. This safety measure, which has been in place on board Fairfax Connector buses since May 2020, aims to protect passengers and bus operators during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This requirement also aligns with the January 29, 2021, federal order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If a passenger is not wearing a mask or a face covering when entering a Fairfax Connector bus, one will be provided, if available. To date, Fairfax Connector team has distributed more than 90,000 masks to passengers to help slow the spread of COVID-19. A face covering can be a homemade cloth mask that completely covers the nose and mouth made with two or more layers of breathable fabric that is tightly woven. Details on appropriate and safe usage of masks and face coverings can be found at the CDC website.
Per the U.S. Transportation Security Administration Security Directive (SD) 1582/84-21-01, under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 114:
- Federal law requires wearing a mask while at transit facilities in Fairfax County and on Fairfax Connector buses. Failure to comply may result in denial of boarding, entry, and removal.
- Refusing to wear a mask is a violation of federal law; Passengers may be subject to penalties under federal law.
Fairfax County is committed to providing transit service to residents who have no alternate way to travel during this situation. FCDOT officials would like to thank all Fairfax Connector customers for their patience, cooperation and flexibility during this difficult time.
Ways Fairfax Connector Maintains a Safe and Healthy Environment
1. Fairfax Connector operations contractor continues the following steps to maintain a safe and healthy environment for Fairfax Connector passengers and personnel:
- Review and update cleaning protocols based on guidance from public health officials.
- Increase vehicle cleaning cycles with a special focus on bus interiors and critical touchpoints such as door handles, handrails and other surfaces. These cleanings will incorporate disinfection procedures indicated to be effective against COVID-19.
- Initiate regular communication with Fairfax Connector workforce to keep employees informed about the virus and provide guidance to prevent the spread of illness.
2. Passengers are reminded that the most effective way to prevent the spread of illness is to follow recommendations from public health officials below:
- If you are not feeling well or have symptoms of illness, please stay home and avoid taking public transportation. Fairfax County health officials offer steps to take at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus.
- Stay home if you've been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or if you're awaiting your own COVID-19 test results.
- Wear cloth face coverings that cover your nose and mouth to help prevent the spread of germs to others
- Practice social distancing while on the bus by staying 6 feet away from others, if possible.
- Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
Ways to Stay Informed About COVID-19
- Call the Health Department Call Center at 703-267-3511 with Coronavirus questions; open 9:00 a.m. - 7 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
- Text FFXCOVID to 888777 to receive updates from Fairfax County about COVID-19; text FFXCOVIDESP to 888777 for updates in Spanish
- Email questions or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org. This email account will be staffed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 6 p.m.
- Visit the county’s coronavirus web portal (www.fairfaxcounty.gov/covid19) for information; it serves as a one-stop online resource for information.
- Visit the COVID-19 language portal (www.fairfaxcounty.gov/covid19/language-portal)that has information in languages other than English.
- Learn more about COVID-19 at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/covid19.
- Follow the Fairfax County Government Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/fairfaxcounty)and Health Department Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/fairfaxcountyhealth).
- Follow @fairfaxcounty and @fairfaxhealth on Twitter.
For More Information About Fairfax Connector
- Sign-up for email or text updates for Fairfax Connector operating status via Fairfax Alerts by selecting “Fairfax Connector Information”.
- To receive notifications for your bus route, sign up for BusTracker email or text alerts.
- Visit www.fairfaxconnector.com to stay informed with the latest news and information.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
- Contact us at Fairfaxconnector@fairfaxcounty.gov