Saskatoon mechanic wants people to be 'more diligent' about possible COVID-19 contamination when dropping off their cars
A Saskatoon mechanic believes he caught COVID-19 earlier this month by entering and working in vehicles “littered” with used face masks.
However, an expert says that transmission from contaminated surfaces is “very low risk.”
Michael Ross has been a mechanic for 30 years and works at the Canadian Tire on Confederation Drive. He’s asking the public to be more aware of the conditions inside their vehicles when they’re dropped off for servicing.
“There’s coffee cups, there’s cigarette butts, there’s wrappers and not to mention … now we’ve got these used masks all over the place, hanging from the rearview mirror, off the signal, shift, sitting on the seats, they’re just strewn everywhere,” Ross told CTV News while in isolation at home.
Ross says leaving used masks inside vehicles during a pandemic puts mechanics at risk. After having symptoms for a couple of days, he took a rapid test and tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 10.
‘It really freaked me right out. I’m double vaccinated but now I’m in self-quarantine and being off work for five days, almost a full week, does put a damper on my pocketbook,” he said.
Ross says people leaving garbage and used masks in their vehicles is “not acceptable.” He says two or three other colleagues of his have also tested positive for COVID-19.
“We don’t know if they had it and it does put a bit of a concern and a fear into us and I don’t see why people can be more diligent,” Ross said
CAN YOU CATCH COVID-19 FROM SURFACES?
Joseph Blondeau, head of clinical microbiology at Royal University Hospital, says two years into the pandemic, evidence shows transmission from contaminated surfaces is “very low risk.”
“While it’s not zero, the likelihood for transmission from surfaces is thought to be certainly substantially less than say transmission from another infected individual,” Blondeau told CTV News.
Blondeau says evidence emerging from the Omicron variant shows the number of asymptomatic people with COVID-19 could be as high as 27 to 40 per cent of the infected population.
While it is possible to catch COVID-19 from a contaminated surface, you’re more likely to catch the virus from another person, Blondeau says.
Depending on the surface, COVID-19 can stay on surfaces anywhere from hours up to three days but no new information has been shared since the start of the pandemic.
“We still recommend that if you come in contact with a high touch surface, either don’t touch it or if you can decontaminate it, that’s a reasonable thing to do.”
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