COVID On The Road: Health Officials Warn Of Carpool Clusters

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(WJAR/NBC News) — Normally carpooling is a great way to save time, gas, and money, but sharing rides with coworkers during the pandemic can be risky.

Rhode Island state health officials say they’re seeing clusters of COVID-19 cases tied to carpools.

Joseph Wendelken with the Rhode Island Department of Health says a big part of the problem is a lack of masking.

“You need to wear a mask the whole time. That means making sure you have your mask on before you get into the car,” Wendelken says.

The Department of Health says it’s almost as important to keep the group of people you carpool with consistent, rather than catching rides with different coworkers on different days.

Also important: keep the windows open whenever possible for airflow, even when wearing masks. And whether you carpool or drive yourself to work, the department told NBC 10 News that too many people in Rhode Island are still going into work when they’re sick, potentially spreading COVID-19.

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