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Uber could suspend accounts for riders and drivers with coronavirus

Uber is working with various public health organizations in deciding whether or not to temporarily suspend the accounts of riders and drivers if they test positive for COVID-19, also commonly referred to as the coronavirus. 

The rideshare company is working closely with public health officials in every state to decide if those who tested positive or have come in contact with the coronavirus should have their accounts suspended. Public health organizations can reach out to Uber’s Law Enforcement Response Team (ULERT) with information on individuals who have contracted the virus.

Uber didn’t say how long accounts would be suspended, but the coronavirus incubation period is about five to 14 days according to the World Health Organization, so it could be assumed to last at least two weeks or longer. Last month, Uber suspended 240 user accounts in Mexico based on people who may have come in contact with the virus, reported Reuters. 

The company sent out an email on Tuesday, March 10, encouraging riders and drivers to prioritize their health over anything else right now. 

“We are always working to help keep everyone who uses Uber safe. We have a dedicated global team, guided by the advice of a consulting public health expert, working to respond in every market where we operate around the world. We remain in close contact with local public health authorities and will continue to follow their guidance to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” an Uber spokesperson told Digital Trends. 

ULERT has also been working with an epidemiologist to ensure their efforts and recommendations are medically correct when it comes to suspending accounts. The ULERT is available to reach 24/7. 

The company’s detailed policy on the coronavirus also includes providing drivers with disinfectant supplies (while supplies last) and giving people the option to have food delivery left at their door to limit person-to-person contact. 

In total, there have been more than 121,260 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, and 4,373 confirmed deaths. The virus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, but there have been confirmed cases in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, and more countries around the globe. It has caused massive travel discrepancies, tech company closures, significant event cancellations, and more.

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