Number of COVID-19 positive Cincinnati Metro drivers increases again

Metro amps up safety measures as 10th operator contracts COVID

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Despite all the safety measures Cincinnati Metro is putting into place, bus drivers continue to test positive for COVID-19.

The most recent case brings the number of COVID-19 positive drivers to 10.

According to a news release from Metro, the driver last worked on July 27 and 28 on Route 24 Anderson-Uptown between 4 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

They say contract tracing was conducted immediately and other employees who may have come in contact with the driver have been notified.

“It’s an unfortunate circumstance. Many of them have shared with us they believe they have caught that from a relative outside of Metro but you know Metro is not immune to this virus as an industry,” Brandy Jones, Vice President of External Affairs with Metro, said.

The news release says if riders are concerned they may have come in contact with the infected driver, they should monitor their health, follow CDC guidelines, and contact a medical professional if they develop symptoms

“I think they should be a little more concerned about more employees testing positive. They should make sure their employees are taking the steps to quarantine themselves,” Joysoline Smith of Cincinnati said.

Officials with Metro say they are doing everything they can to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Installing plexiglass barriers for all of our buses so when customers are boarding they won’t have direct contact with our operators. We’re also encouraging everyone to use our transit app to pay their fare and that provides for contactless payment,” Jones said.

Metro has also started spraying all of the buses with a special disinfectant that officials say kills the virus.

“We actually apply the disinfectant with an electrostatic sprayer and so this helps promote service adhesion so we’re treating all of our seats our handrails poles anything that someone would touch or sit on and encounter and it stays on the surface for 48 hours,” Jones said.

Masks or face coverings are also required.

While some riders say they remain confident riding with Metro, Smith says she doesn’t know how preventative these measures are.

“It makes me feel a little less safe. I guess you could say the way the Metro buses are set up, it’s kind of really hard to practice social distancing. But I still feel like it’s something you can’t really get around that,” Smith said.

Metro will be installing hand sanitizer dispensers within the next couple of weeks on each bus as an extra layer of protection.

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