Hundreds to be tested after city bus driver who worked while sick tests positive for COVID-19

Hundreds to be tested after city bus driver who worked while sick tests positive for COVID-19

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - All 1,300 city bus drivers will get tested for coronavirus after one of their colleagues was confirmed positive for COVID-19, officials said Monday.

Meanwhile, city bus passengers who feel they’re at risk are being urged to talk to their doctors about getting a test. Those without insurance can seek help (and a test) at a community health center.

In the wake of the incident, city bus drivers will also undergo daily temperature screening.

Roger Morton, president and general manager of Oahu Transit Services, said universal testing of city bus drivers will be completed within the next week.

Going forward, he said, testing will be offered at least once a month.

Oahu Transit Services, which runs the city bus system, got confirmation of the results on Saturday night.

The driver who tested positive for COVID-19 had been on the job for at least five days despite feeling sick, working 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

Hiro Toiya, director of emergency management for the city, said the city bus system already had a number of safety protocols already in place ― including mandatory mask wearing for drivers and passengers.

“We do not believe this is a high-risk event to the public,” he said.

But Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the incident underscores the need to stay home when you’re sick.

“The virus is still among us,” he said. “In the last four weeks of June, we’ve seen more cases on the island of Oahu then we’ve seen for months. It tells everyone here on this island that we’re not through this yet.”

So far in June, there have been 257 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Hawaii. In all of May, there were 46.

Caldwell added that if the number of cases continues to spike, Oahu could look at rolling back on its reopening plan. He said “high-risk” businesses and activities could be targeted first.

This story will be updated.

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