Valley Metro now providing face coverings at 4 Phoenix transit stations

Since Maricopa County now mandates face masks and coverings, starting today, Valley Metro will hand out face coverings for riders at four locations across the Phoenix area -- those transit stations include Sunnyslope, Central Station in Downtown Phoenix, Ed Pastor, and Metrocenter Mall transit stations.

"All riders are expected to wear a face covering during public transit and at bus stops and transit centers when they can't social distance," said Brittany Hoffman of Valley Metro.

Now, when using Valley Metro public transit, riders will see a few changes and reminders.

"Signs on the trains and on the buses that encourage social distancing and we always prompt people to use hand sanitizer and hand washing to help slow the spread," Hoffman said.

LIST: Arizona cities with face mask requirements

Coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket in Arizona and now, several cities are looking at possible mask mandates.

But if you happen to forget your face maks or covering at home, Valley Metro says they will not deny riders transportation.

"We will never deny a ride," Hoffman said. "Obviously, the bus rider may encourage, but again, we don't know everyone's personal situation, so we will bever deny a ride and we're asking riders also do not confront other riders if they see them not wearing a face covering, "Hoffman said.

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

MAP: Worldwide interactive Coronavirus case data

MAP: Arizona Coronavirus cases by zip code

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)
How it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

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https://www.azdhs.gov/coronavirus

On CoronavirusNOW.com, you'll find extensive coverage about COVID-19, including breaking news from around the country, exclusive interviews with health officials, and informative content from a variety of public health resources.

RELATED:

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus, but may put you in a better position to fight it.

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.