Need to take the bus back to work? A doctor explains how you can do that safely
Dr. Nadia Abuelezam (MSNBC)

A public health expert explained how to safely take public transportation during the coronavirus pandemic.

As businesses reopen across the country, workers and customers will return to the buses, subways and trains they rely on for transportation, and Dr. Nadia Abuelezam told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that doing so will be safe -- with some precautions.

"I think people need to understand that, in close spaces, spaces that are enclosed, inside, carry a greater risk of transmission than spaces that are outdoor, have fresh air moving through them," said Abuelezam, an epidemiologist and professor at Boston's College's School of Nursing. "So, of course, you can protect yourself by wearing a mask. You can protect yourself by wiping down your seat and, of course, using hand sanitizer or washing your hands after you get off the bus, if possible. Those are all ways you can protect yourself on the commute."

Soap and water are more effective than hand sanitizer and bleach wipes, she said.

"You can simply wash your hands with warm water and soap, as has been said before, for 20 seconds," Abuelezam said. "That will be just as effective as using hand sanitizer. Usually, we would recommend using those bleach wipes on surfaces, as opposed to hands, but obviously they do a similar thing of killing bacteria and viruses."

"The other thing that's important is how you handle the masks," she added. "It's really important to remember that you should only put the mask on and off from the ear handles, as opposed to touching the front of the mask."