36 TTC staff and five Metrolinx employees have tested positive for coronavirus

May 4 2020, 5:08 pm

Thirty-six TTC employees and five Metrolinx workers have now tested positive for COVID-19.

On Sunday, the TTC confirmed that six more employees had tested positive since their last update on April 30, with 307 employees in self-isolation.

According to the transit union, ATU Local 113, one of the subway operators was from the Wilson Division, who is currently recovering at home.

The member’s last shift was on Tuesday, April 28, and he was tested on Thursday, April 30, receiving the positive test result on Saturday.

Another worker was a TTC bus operator from the Malvern Division, whose last shift was on Thursday, April 30. They ran the Steeles East route in the morning and the Nugget route in the afternoon, the transit union confirmed.

The other confirmed cases include a design engineer in the Communications Engineering Section of Plant Maintenance, another bus operator at Malvern, a transit fare inspector working out of Leslie Barnes and a bus operator Wilson.

And on May 2, Metrolinx confirmed that another staff member at Union Station tested positive for the virus, but had not been at work since April 22.

“As a precaution, we are letting the public know a staff member at Union Station has tested positive for COVID-19. They have not been at work since April 22. We all wish them a full recovery [and] they have the full support of their Metrolinx family.” 

Metrolinx’s Senior Manager of Media, Marie Anne Aikins, confirmed that this was the fifth employee to test positive, along with four probable cases of the coronavirus.

“Our staff member, who is doing very well, had little contact with customers or colleagues,” Aikins said on social media.

Metrolinx confirmed that staff have been practicing physical distancing and are cleaning Union Station multiple times a day.

“Frontline staff are separated from the public as much as possible and therefore, the risk is low,” Metrolinx said.

The TTC also said is 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 their health care provider, and for TTC employees to call the transit system’s Occupational Health and Safety Department.

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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