Industry leader says stronger screening in place for truckers who don’t need to quarantine during COVID-19

LANGLEY (NEWS 1130) — The head of the BC Trucking Association says COVID-19 transmission rates for essential service drivers who regularly need to cross the US border are low.

Dave Earle says truckers –and their employers– are doing everything they can to reduce the risk of exposing their families when they come home.

“They’ve really had to adapt the way that they interact when they’re south of the border. They take food with them, so they minimize their interactions out of the cab. Companies are changing protocols for receiving goods where the driver never even leaves the cab –just to minimize the interaction.”

He adds everyone understands the importance of keeping the supply chain going, so enhanced screening protocols are also in place for truckers who don’t have to quarantine.

“Drivers have been very, very focused, as have been companies, on making sure that they use all possible protocols and making sure that their exposures are minimized  and they’re being very diligent when they do return home to ensure that they’re not exposing their families or anybody in the community to the disease.”

Earle tells NEWS 1130 many have had to adapt the way they interact when they’re south of the border because COVID-19 numbers are much worse there than they are in BC and the rest of Canada.

“For many long-haul drivers, they would have somebody in the cab with them –a spouse– you know, somebody from their family.   That’s not possible since March.  As we move further into this pandemic, it’s time to just double down and  make absolutely sure we’re minimizing opportunities for transmission.”

Earle says the BCTA doesn’t keep track of how many members have tested positive, but transmission rates have been low considering the association operates more than 16-thousand vehicles.