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Using HOURCAR During COVID19

As COVID-19 has continued to spread in Minnesota, we’ve been working hard to ensure that using an HOURCAR is as safe as possible. We’ve audited and improved our cleaning and sanitizing procedures to improve efficiency and maintain CDC compliance, as well as found other ways to improve the things we’re already doing.

Practice Good Safety Habits

We encourage proper safety habits to help stop the spread of COVID. If you’ve tested positive and recently used HOURCAR, let us know so we can follow procedures to avoid the spread. If you have an upcoming reservation, please cancel it (we won’t charge any fees for late cancellation.) 

HOURCAR COVID Updates

  • We’ve replaced all cabin air filters with HEPA-Rated Filters
  • All cars include alcohol-based wipes to help our members sanitize the car before and after each trip. High percentage alcohol-based wipes are less likely to freeze in the winter, as opposed to other wipes. If you find the container low/empty/missing, please let us know.
  • We’ve increased staff capacity so we can clean and sanitize minimally 2 times per week.
  • We immediately remove a car if it has been exposed to the virus. The car is cleaned and sterilized before returning to service.
  • Any fleet team members exhibiting symptoms stay home to stop the spread. Many of the HOURCAR staff is already working remotely and our office remains closed to the public. When we do work together in the same spaces, masks are mandated on our team members and sanitizers are provided.

We will continue to update this page to reflect updates to our service. Should there be any changes that directly affect your next reservation we will notify you. 

Does HOURCAR Require the Use of a Mask While Driving?

Right now, we are not requiring the use of masks while using HOURCAR. But don’t get us wrong, we aren’t anti-maskers and we believe in science. Here’s our reasoning:

  • Masks are highly encouraged, but not mandated, for trips. For those that require glasses to see clearly, masks can cause a distraction while driving by fogging up the lenses. We want our members to have proper vision while driving to reduce the risks of an accident at all costs.
  • The vast majority of HOURCAR trips are with people in the same household, where a mask wouldn’t normally be worn. If you are getting a group of people together in an HOURCAR, we encourage the passengers to wear masks to reduce the risk of spread. The reason masks are required on public transportation, airplanes, and other shared modes of transportation is due to a variety of persons from different households in confined/limited spaces. More information about air quality is in the next bullet.
  • All cabin air filters have been changed out for a HEPA-rated filter. The effectiveness of ventilation inside of our vehicles is also a contributing factor. Research on air exchange rates inside our vehicles found a stationary vehicle (with no ventilation and all windows closed) is fully replaced 1-3 times per hour. Running the fan (set to outside air option) increases the airflow change to 36-47 times per hour (about every 1.5 minutes). This exchange rate can be increased by cracking a window by 3 inches.

Should we change to a mask mandate, all members will be notified. 

Please continue to let us know if the wipes are running low and take your trash with you. We still ask that you do not use an HOURCAR if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. We can waive any fees if you need to cancel for this reason.

If you have any questions, we hope you’ll reach out and let us know. You can email us at info@hourcar.org or call us at 612.343.2277. We value all member feedback.

Additional updates to our COVID plans and requirements will be listed below as updates are announced. Membership safety has always been of top concern, and COVID hasn’t changed this focus.

Thank you for being part of our car-sharing community!

 

This page was last updated Feb 9, 2021