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METRO - Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County

06/18/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/18/2021 15:21

Bus Operator Tests Positive for COVID-19

Release Date: June 18, 2021
Media Hot Line: 713.739.4040

METRO has received confirmation a bus operator has tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total number of cases to 599 METRO employees and 118 contractors since March 2020.

Two hundred seventy-three of the employees had no contact with the public. METRO tracks and reports all positive cases among its 4000 employees and the various contractors who provide services to METRO. We are also conducting temperature checks of employees and others before they begin their workday at METRO facilities or on our vehicles.

The bus operator last worked June 11 and in the two weeks prior, operated the following routes:

*The chart above reflects the days the operator was on duty two weeks prior to the last day on the job.

Anyone who comes in contact with an individual who tests positive should monitor themselves for possible symptoms, contact your health care provider as soon as you develop any symptoms, and self-isolate to avoid possibly exposing others, including refraining from using public transportation.

METRO is working with public health officials so they can identify and notify anyone who traveled the route driven by the operators during those time frames as well as anyone else who may have been impacted by the latest positive case.

Federal law now requires anyone on the METRO system to wear a face mask. This includes rail stations, transit centers and bus stops. Plastic face shields are not considered masks. Exemptions are available for children under the age of two, a person with a disability who cannot wear a mask or wear one safely because of a disability defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Since mid-March 2020, METRO has sought to minimize the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission by operators or passengers by encouraging social distancing, placing plastic barriers between operators and passengers, providing access to hand sanitizer while on board our system and requiring masks.

However, with recent changes announced by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and an increase in the number of individuals being vaccinated resulting in more employees returning to work, METRO will no longer call for only essential trips being made on METRO and will now allow full capacity on all bus and rail vehicles.

We appreciate and greatly value our riders and thank them for their assistance as we have continued to offer service throughout this pandemic. We have taken many actions, including working with the community at large, to 'flatten the curve' of COVID-19.

METRO's number one priority will continue to be protecting the health and safety of our customers, community and employees.