Thursday, June 18, 2020

METRO Bus Operator, Two Contract Drivers Among Latest COVID-19 Cases

METRO has received confirmation a bus operator, two mechanics, two First Transit contract drivers and an employee with Met Tran Federal Credit Union, which is housed at METRO Headquarters, have tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total number of cases to 37 METRO employees and eight contractors. Seventeen of the employees had no contact with the public. METRO tracks and reports all positive cases among its workforce of more than 4200. We are also conducting temperature checks of employees before they begin their workday. 
The bus operator's last day on the job was June 15.  In the two weeks prior, that employee drove the following route:
TMC Operator
The First Transit contract driver last worked June 13. In the two weeks prior, that operator drove the following route:
shepherd operator
*The charts above reflect the days the operators were on duty two weeks prior to their last day on the job.
The other First Transit contract driver provided service for METROLift on June 3 and June 8. METROLift is an on-demand service which does not operate on specific routes. 
The two METRO mechanics last worked June 2 and June 11. The credit union employee last worked June 12.  None had contact with the public.
Anyone who comes in contact with an individual who tests positive should monitor themselves for possible symptoms, contact your health care provider as soon as you develop any symptoms, and self-isolate to avoid possibly exposing others, including refraining from using public transportation.
METRO is working with public health officials so they can identify and notify anyone who traveled the routes driven by the bus operators during those time frames, as well as anyone else who may have been impacted by the other positive cases.
Since mid-March, METRO has sought to minimize the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission by operators or passengers by encouraging social distancing.  On March 23, the agency temporarily suspended collecting fares to avoid unnecessary contacts.  Shortly thereafter, orange mesh fencing was installed across the aisles of every local bus to assure appropriate distancing between operators and passengers.
We appreciate and greatly value our riders. We have taken many actions, including working with the community at large, to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19. To prevent or minimize its transmission on the transit system, METRO asks all riders to use the system only for essential trips at this time, wear a facial covering while riding the system, practice social distancing when you do ride transit (i.e., stand or sit at least 6 feet apart, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, wash your hands for 20 seconds before boarding transit and after deboarding, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze into your elbow, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and stay home if you are sick). Additionally, riders should board buses only from the back door, and stand or sit no closer than six feet behind the driver. 
METRO’s number one priority is protecting the health and safety of our customers, community and employees.