TOLEDO, Ohio — (EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is from July.)
Three employees of the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) have tested positive for COVID-19 according to a news release from the transit agency on Wednesday. The agency announced Saturday two other additional employees tested positive.
TARTA said three of the employees have administrative duties and do not interact with the public. One employee is a bus operator for TARTA’s paratransit service and last drove a transit vehicle on Nov. 13.
The two additional employees who tested positive for the virus include another staffer whose duties not include physical interaction with the public and another bus operator who also last drove a transit vehicle on Nov. 13.
All TARTA bus operators are required to wear facial masks, sit behind a protective plastic barrier and practice social distancing from passengers as much as possible.
Following TARTA standard protocol, the vehicles last operated by the employees were cleaned and disinfected prior to returning to service. TARTA also said it conducts nightly disinfection of work areas with CDC approved cleaning agents and is committed to continuing this practice.
Additionally, TARTA officials said they conduct a thorough analysis to determine if other staff members may have been in contact with these employees at less than six feet and for more than 10 minutes.
"TARTA has been working diligently to provide all employees and riders with the safest possible environment," the news release read.
Since early March, TARTA says its mandatory employee safety protocols include:
- Employees are encouraged not to report to work if they are, or suspect to be, sick.
- Employee work areas are sanitized and disinfected daily.
- TARTA provides all employees with facial masks. Employees are always required to wear a facial mask unless they are in a solitary work environment such as an office.
- TARTA remains fare-free to minimize interaction between employees and customers.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as hand sanitizer and gloves are provided to all employees.
- TARTA regularly informs employees about best practices and protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
- Non-essential employees are working remotely.
- TARTA facilities have been closed to the public to limit the spread of COVID-19.
For more information on TARTA’s efforts related to COVID-19, rider safety guidelines and links to critical resources visit http://tarta.com/coronavirus.