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Two Yale University undergraduate students worked in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) to develop criteria and outline design features that would mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 and inform decisions regarding CTDOT's purchase of new rail cars.
As part of the SEAS 2020 Summer Design/Research Scholars Program, Yale students Marley Macarewich and Nathan Pharr worked on an eight-week long project to research ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in railcars, according to the Yale News blog.
The pair met virtually with the CTDOT three times over the summer to discuss proposed solutions and obtained the blueprints to rail cars in Connecticut to aid with their research.
Proposed solutions outlined in the students' report include a universal mask requirement, seating charts, introduction of a separate car for riders who are high-risk, increased outdoor airflow, the use of non-porous, smooth materials for seat covers and train surfaces and the implementation of plexiglass shields between seats.
Macarewich and Pharr are working with Krystal Pollit, an assistant professor of epidemiology, to prepare a manuscript of their summer research to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.