Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Several METRO Bus Operators Among Latest Positive COVID-19 Cases

METRO has received confirmation seven bus operators, two First Transit contract drivers, a service driver, finance employee and ITS specialist have tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total number of cases to 67 METRO employees and 15 contractors. Thirty-two 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 first bus operator last worked June 18 and in the two weeks prior, drove the following routes:
Fallbrook B
The second bus operator last worked June 21 and in the two weeks prior, drove the following routes:
Polk Operator E
Two other bus operators last worked June 22 and In the two weeks prior, those employees drove the following routes:
West Operator AWest Operator C
The fifth bus operator last worked June 23 and in the two weeks prior, drove the following routes:
Westheimer Operator
The sixth bus operator last worked June 24 and in the two weeks prior, drove the following routes:
Fallbrook A
The seventh bus operator last worked June 26 and in the two weeks prior drove the following routes:
HC Operator D
The other bus operator is a First Transit contract employee who last worked June 18 and in the two weeks prior, drove the following routes:
NW Operator
The service driver last worked June 22 and drove the following routes:
Service Driver
*The charts above reflect the days the operators were on duty two weeks prior to their last days on the job.
The other First Transit contract driver provided services for METROLift on June 12, 15 and 23 through 25.
The other positive cases are a finance employee who last worked June 12 and an ITS specialist who last worked June 29. 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 riders. 
METRO’s number one priority is protecting the health and safety of our customers, community and employees.