An ETS bus driver has tested positive for coronavirus

Jul 22 2020, 6:08 pm

A bus driver with Edmonton Transit Service has tested positive for COVID-19, the City of Edmonton has confirmed.

A bus operator working out of Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage tested positive for coronavirus, and the City says they were alerted to the positive case on the evening of Friday, July 17.

“We want to reassure the public that it continues to be safe to take public transit,” said City of Edmonton spokesperson Rowan Anderson in a statement to Daily Hive.

“Immediate steps were taken to protect the health and safety of other employees and the public. The City has a detailed and comprehensive process for addressing positive COVID-19 cases among its workforce and is positioned to take an active and rapid response for assessing and managing risk internally and to the public.”

The City says that the driver’s last day of work was July 14, and potential contacts have been identified.

“All Operators who shared equipment with this Operator have been directed to seek testing and stay home until test results are returned,” said Anderson.

“AHS is conducting contact tracing of their own and will determine if further steps are needed. We will continue to follow the advice and recommendations of AHS, including that of public communication.”

The City says that risks to the riders are considered low due to protective measures taken by drivers.

“All Bus Operators sit behind a protective shield when driving a bus, and wear a mask when they leave the Operator compartment,” he added.

“Additionally, Bus Operators are supplied with hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to practice proper hand hygiene and allow for regular cleaning within their Operator compartment. We also continue to use a new disinfecting agent applied daily with an electrostatic sprayer to all ETS vehicles before they go into service, at transit centres and LRT stations.”

The City says that because the risk to the public is low, they will not be sharing further information, including the route the driver took, in order to maintain privacy.

Anderson added that there was another case from July 9, where a fleet maintenance worker at Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage tested positive, but the two incidents are not believed to be related.

“This is the only positive COVID-19 case regarding an ETS transit operator that we know of at this time.”

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