ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — Lots of essential workers travel for hours every day. Although the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is re-opening their rest stops, they say we still need to practice safety, especially in their restrooms.
David Welty is a truck driver from Philadelphia, traveling hundreds of miles per day. He says “pretty much all you can get on the turnpike is turnpike stops.” He says he solely depends on the Penn DOT rest stations when driving through Central PA. He’s glad they’re open but hopes folks don’t see this as a sign to start leaving the house. Welty says “there’s a lot of freight that’s going around the northeast especially, a lot of stuff that people need. There are a lot of people that are tired of being at home who are getting out on the road making bad decisions and honestly it’s getting in the way of people that need to get things where they’re going.”
Penn DOT Press Secretary, Alexis Campbell says there are 44 rest stops among Pennsylvania turnpikes, and only 6 of them, in the Philadelphia area, have yet to open. They initially re-opened rest stops for people like truck drivers who are making essential trips. Campbell says “we want to do what we can to support those that are out for essential business or the trucking industry that’s helping to keep us supplied with all of the things that we need, but we still are discouraging unnecessary travel…We want to make them available but we want to make sure that we’re not unwittingly helping spread COVID-19.”
If you need to use a public restroom, the CDC recommends bringing your own hand sanitizer and continuing to be proactive in their COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Penn DOT says their cleaning staff is working 24 hours. But limiting our travel is a huge part of helping those who are doing essential work.