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Metrolink in Southern California last week added antimicrobial air filters on all commuter-rail cars to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The Purafil PuraShield air filters capture airborne microbials and destroy 99.9% of them on contact, Metrolink officials said in a press release.
A high-efficiency fiber treated with a proprietary antimicrobial technology involving copper and silver ions jointly attacks viral and bacterial cells, weakening the cell walls, then sterilizing, suffocating and starving the pathogens, Metrolink officials explained.
The new filters work with Metrolink’s existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Intake vents draw in outside air, send it through the HVAC system, then distribute the filtered and cleaned air into the cars. Through this process, the filters screen out and kill viral and bacterial particles, as well as biological and atmosphere odors.
"Together with enhanced cleaning, physical distancing and our face mask requirement, this new step reduces the exposure risk of infection," said Metrolink Board Chair Brian Humphrey.
Meanwhile, the Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) this month began requiring face masks — with no exceptions — on its light-rail system.
Previously, SacRT’s policy required riders to wear face masks while waiting at stations and on trains, but accepted certain exceptions included in the Sacramento County Department of Public Health directives. The new policy will not allow any exceptions due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the California, SacRT officials said in a press release.