The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines for truck drivers delivering into New York City area, which is one of the hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. CNN reported that as of midday March 26, There were over 74,000 cases of coronavirus in the United States, and about half of those were in New York – almost 10 times more than any other state.
Truckers driving into the city to deliver needed supplies should stay in their vehicles as much as possible as supplies are loaded and unloaded, avoid being within 6 feet of others as much as possible when they exit their vehicles, and move to electronic receipts if possible, said the CDC.
If these drivers need to spend the night in the greater New York City area, they should stay in their hotel rooms or sleeper cab, when available, to the extent possible and continue to practice social distancing.
Drivers who take these precautions should not need to self-quarantine when they leave the greater New York area, unless self-quarantine is recommended by state or local officials for all residents in the areas where they live.
Truck drivers and other workers who obtain or deliver needed supplies who live in the greater New York area may continue to work both within and outside of the greater New York area, but should stay at home and practice social distancing according to instructions of state and local officials when they are not working, according to the CDC. When delivering they should follow the same precautionary measures as those delivering in the city from outside the region.
“We continue to recommend that all people take precautions to stay safe and keep others safe, including washing their hands regularly, staying home when sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and maintaining distance from others.”
MSN reports that “some truckers are refusing to carry orders into the city and surrounding suburbs … that have been hard hit by the coronavirus, even as demand for groceries is double or triple normal levels as shoppers stockpile soup and other everyday goods.”
The CDC’s guidance does not mention any type of protective gear, such as gloves or masks. However, some fleets are playing it safe. Fenn Church, president of Birmingham, Alabama-based Church Transportation, told HDT that his fleet is limiting shipping into heavily infected areas at this time because drivers don’t have the proper protective gear and clothing.
“We have been unable to find anything, so we are restricting areas like New York until we are able to be equipped properly.”