VIA Rail has confirmed that one of its employees, who worked in the Québec City-Windsor Corridor, has tested positive for COVID-19.
The employee worked last on March 14 and 15, on-board trains 61-44-643-68, and did not show any symptoms at that time.
The staff-member reportedly started to experience symptoms on March 18, phoned health authorities on March 20, and was tested on March 21.
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VIA Rail was informed the employee tested positive for coronavirus on March 23.
The individual reportedly did not report to work while exhibiting symptoms.
Employees and crews that could have been exposed have been contacted, the transportation operator said, and all staff were notified as soon as the company was made aware — though they say that exposure remains minimal.
In the following weeks, VIA Rail has said it will remain in contact with employees, and the company continues to contact passengers who might have been in direct or indirect contact with its staff.
The employee who tested positive for coronavirus is being monitored by public health authorities and is in isolation.
In general, in order to ensure the safety of passengers and respond to concerns of guests and employees, VIA Rail has implemented specific measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, including:
- A procedure that plans for the isolation of employees meeting certain specific criteria (for example: returning from a trip outside of Canada, showing signs and symptoms of a contagious respiratory illness such as coronavirus, having been in contact with someone who has signs and symptoms of a contagious respiratory illness, etc.);
- A procedure detailing the measures to be taken by the organization in the event of the proven presence of an infected person in any of the companies establishments, including on board trains;
- Enhanced cleaning protocols on board trains and in stations;
- Measures to ensure the best possible social distancing on board trains.
Further, passengers and employees are reminded of the importance of following the recommendations of the public health authorities, to stay at home, avoid non-essential travel, practice social distancing as much as possible, and to strictly follow good hygiene practices.