City bus driver who tested positive for COVID-19 kept working for 5 days while feeling sick

Updated: Jun. 29, 2020 at 2:55 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A city bus driver who has tested positive for COVID-19 continued working for five days while feeling sick, city officials said Sunday.

Oahu Transit Services, which runs the city bus system, got news Saturday night the worker had tested positive.

The driver worked the following routes:

  • Route 9: Pearl Harbor to Kaimuki
  • Route 40: Makaha to Honolulu
  • Route 42: Ewa Beach to Waikiki
  • Route 88A: North Shore Express
  • And Route 501: Milillani Mauka

It’s not known how or when the driver contracted the disease.

The driver got tested after officials said he began to feel ill last week Monday.

Despite his potential show of symptoms, the driver continued working, and drove for eight to nine hours a day.

City bus driver tests positive

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“This was not totally unexpected,” said Roger Morton, OTS President and General Manager. “I know the riding public is concerned, ‘Are the buses safe in the middle of the pandemic?‘”

Morton went on to outline the added safety precautions and deep cleaning practices TheBus has begun since the pandemic began.

“We have an army of our employees that are wiping down all touch surfaces on all buses everyday,” Morton said. Contractors are also using a fog sanitizer that cleans areas not accessible by hand.

They’ve also added extra buses to allow for passengers to spread out on routes in high demand.

Morton says as businesses welcome back workers, there has been an uptick in ridership with about 82,000 daily riders. That’s roughly 42% of pre-pandemic ridership levels.

“We want to do everything to the maximum extent that we can to protect both our workforce and our passengers,” said Deputy Director of the Department of Transportation Services, Jon Nouchi.

OTS is working with the Department of Health to ensure proper protocols are followed.

Other drivers who may have been in close contact with the infected individual have been notified. So far, no other drivers have tested positive.

This story may be updated.

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