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HART bus driver tests positive for coronavirus

HART
Posted at 12:20 PM, Apr 16, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. -- HART confirmed on Thursday that a bus driver tested positive for the coronavirus.

The company says the driver last worked on Wednesday, April 8. The driver is the first HART employee to test positive, according to a press release.

In the 14 days prior to the positive result, HART says the driver worked the following routes:

  • Route 1 (Florida Ave.) - April 7
  • Route 6 (56th St.) - April 8
  • Route 30 (Kennedy Blvd.) - April 1
  • Route 31 (South County) - April 2
  • Route 48 (Temple Terrace) - April 6

"As the CDC recommends, all individuals should monitor themselves for possible symptoms, and contact their health care provider as soon as you develop any symptoms, and self-isolate to avoid possibly exposing others, including refraining from using public transportation," HART said in a press release.

HART encourages riders to wear a face mask or cloth covering when in public and on transit, as the CDC recommends.

The company says its taken the following steps to help reduce the spread of the virus:

  • HART continues to disinfect the fleet, transit centers, amenities and work areas - daily.
  • HART is communicating with all employees and customers to practice CDC recommended good hygiene and social distancing.
  • HART is providing gloves, hand sanitizer, and face masks to frontline employees on a daily basis based on availability. Because supplies are limited, HART is allowing Operators to use cloth coverings in lieu of face masks. Safety shields on fixed route vehicles provide a barrier to reduce contact.
  • HART is running a temporary reduction of hours for transit service for essential trips. HART is following a modified-Sunday schedule. HART is asking customers to limit travel to essential trips only; consistent with the State and County ‘Safer-at-Home’ orders.
  • Buses have been added on certain high-ridership routes daily to prevent overcrowding while staggered seating is recommended. Additional plug buses hold at certain key locations for immediate action to supplement other routes, so that riders are not left stranded.
  • Audio announcements and on-board seat signage have been installed to encourage staggered seating among riders. The first row of seats nearest to the front door is closed off to maintain additional distance between riders and the operator (but is still available for customer with disabilities that have mobility devices). HART has seen reduced ridership which provides the benefit of creating more space.
  • HART is offering alternative work schedules if the job function allows the employee to do the following: flexible/staggered work schedules, reduced work schedules and remote working.
  • HART operators are continually notified to contact the HART Operations Control Center (OCC) immediately to report if their transit vehicle is too crowded or other potential COVID-19 safety concerns. Responses may involve dispatching appropriate personnel, contacting emergency services, sending a swap vehicle, or sending a plug bus along the route.

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