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Truck drivers worried about contracting COVID-19 as restroom access becomes limited

Last Updated Mar 27, 2020 at 9:40 am EDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — It’s becoming increasingly difficult for short and long-haul truck drivers to practice good hygiene as many places have restricted access to washrooms during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Restaurants, businesses, and even Parks Canada have made the move to close their facilities to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Carrie Tompkins has been working six days a week since the pandemic began, delivering essential supplies to places like grocery stores. The supermarkets would usually allow her to use their facilities but recently she’s been forbidden.

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“It had been a couple of hours since I had access to any facilities and I asked if I could get the keys to the washroom, and she said no,” Tompkins said. “I was about an hour away from the next stop that could provide me with facilities.”

Tompkins understands the need to keep clean to try and prevent catching the virus, but she’s hasn’t been able to locate places to wash her hands, even for eating.

The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) provides drivers with hand sanitizer, masks, and wipes but the need to access restrooms is the biggest issue its been dealing with.

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“Access for drivers has been a challenge before the pandemic, but obviously this has become larger,” Chris Nash, President of AMTA, said. “When drivers even go to shippers and receivers with all the COVID requirements now to go in, they are having more difficulty getting access to washrooms at those locations.”

AMTA is working to survey and find out which truck stops are open to make sure there is access for drivers.