49 TTC employees have now tested positive for coronavirus

May 19 2020, 7:37 pm

A total of forty-nine TTC employees have now tested positive for COVID-19, with 176 staff in isolation, the transit commission confirmed.

According to the transit union, ATU Local 113, one of the new cases is a Wheel-Trans Operator who got tested after a family members tested positive for the virus. The operator received a positive test result on May 13.

Two bus operators from Malvern also tested positive.

One employee had their last shift was on May 8 from around 5:40 am to 4:50 pm. They received a positive test result on May 14. The other had their last shift on May 15 from 4 pm to 10:30 pm and got their positive test result on May 17.

A subway operator and a bus operator at the Wilson Division also tested positive for coronavirus.

The bus operator had their last shift on May 8 and got their positive result on Thursday, while the subway operator had their last shift on May 14 and got their result on Sunday.

According to the TTC, the other employees include a bus operator at Eglinton, an engineering technologist at the Track Maintenance with Engineering Section Subway Infrastructure, a bus operator at Arrow Road, and a cable technician from the Plant Maintenance Department.

The TTC said it has strict protocols in place for when an employee tests positive.

According to the transit commission, once they are notified of a positive diagnosis, they “immediately” engage with Toronto Public Health to investigate and decide on the next steps, including notifying those who may need to take additional actions.

“At every location, we take action to ensure enhanced cleaning measures as recommended by public health officials, such as additional surface cleaning in frequently accessed areas, are undertaken as soon as possible,” the TTC said.

As there is community spread of coronavirus in the city, Toronto Public Health is asking all individuals who have symptoms to self-isolate at home for 14 days from when the symptoms begin and to call Telehealth Ontario, their local public health department or health care provider, and for TTC employees to call the transit system’s Occupational Health and Safety Department.

To date, of the 49 employees to test positive for the virus, 15 employees have returned to work.

On April 23, the TTC announced temporary layoffs of 1,200 employees as ridership decreased by 85% during the pandemic, affecting service routes beginning May 10.

The TTC has also mandated physical distancing on buses by sectioning off seating on vehicles and placing vinyl barriers on buses to protect operators.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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