Friday, July 17, 2020

METRO Bus Operators, Contract Drivers Among Latest COVID-19 Cases

METRO has received confirmation two bus operators, a First Transit contract driver for METROLift, two Yellow Cab contract drivers, a mechanic, and a cleaner have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total number of cases to 130 METRO employees and 39 contractors since March 2020. 
Sixty of the employees had no contact with the public. METRO tracks and reports all positive cases among its 4200 employees and the various contractors who provide services to METRO. We are also conducting temperature checks of employees and others before they begin their workday at METRO facilities or on our vehicles. 
The first bus operator last worked June 25 and in the two weeks prior, drove the following routes:
new 127
The second bus operator last worked July 14 and in the two weeks prior, drove the following routes:
new 128
One of the Yellow Cab contract drivers last provided services for METRO on July 9 and in the two weeks prior, drove the following route:
new acres
The other Yellow Cab contract driver also last provided services for METRO on July 9 and in the two weeks prior drove the following route:
39 again
*The charts above reflect the days the operators were on duty two weeks prior to their last days on the job.
The First Transit contract driver for METROLift provided services 7/15,7/14, 7/13, 7/12, 7/8, 7/7, 7/6, and 7/5. METROLift is an on-demand service and does not operate specific routes.
The mechanic last worked July 3rd and the cleaner last worked on July 6. Neither 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 latest 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.
More safety upgrades are also being added to ​buses, trains and METROLift vehicles. Operators and riders will now have access to hand sanitizer while on board and protective shields around drivers' seats will provide another layer of separation between operators and the public. Operators and riders are required to wear a face covering while on the system.