GRTC Employee Test Results for COVID-19: Four confirmed cases to date

For Immediate Release
May 8, 2020
For more information, contact:
CARRIE ROSE PACE – (804) 516-4148 –
carrie.rosepace@ridegrtc.com

GRTC Employee Test Results for COVID-19
Four confirmed cases to date.

RICHMOND, Va. (May 8, 2020) – During the past week, more than half of the GRTC workforce was voluntarily tested for COVID-19. To date, there have been only four confirmed cases out of 273 tested among staff since mid-March. Additional test results are still pending for several employees as GRTC encourages ongoing testing for frontline staff based on guidance from the Virginia Health Department.

For clarity, this is the list of COVID-19 case reports to date:

1st Case: Reported April 6. Employee has recovered and is back at work.
False 2nd Case: Reported April 29, but later determined on May 6 with secondary testing to be a false-positive. Employee, a bus Operator, was cleared by the Virginia Department of Health and is back at work.
Actual 2nd Case: Initial results reported to GRTC on May 3 as an asymptomatic positive test. Secondary test results received on May 6 confirmed the positive result. Employee was on paid sick leave starting on the initial test date of May 2 and remains on paid sick leave. Employee is a recent hire and has not been involved in public bus service.
3rd Case: Initial results reported to GRTC on May 2 as negative test. The GRTC employee, a bus Operator, exhibited asthma symptoms on May 7, was relieved from duty to receive medical attention, was re-tested and was reported positive for COVID-19. Employee is on paid sick leave while being treated in a local hospital due to complications from underlying health conditions.
4th Case: Initial results reported May 6 as an asymptomatic positive test. Secondary test results were received the afternoon of May 8 and confirmed the positive results. The employee, a bus Operator, has been on paid sick leave since May 6 and is still asymptomatic.

GRTC Chief Executive Officer Julie Timm says, “My heart is very much with our Operator who is currently in the hospital and our other GRTC Family members impacted by COVID-19. All of GRTC is hoping for their full and quick recovery.”

GRTC is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health to quarantine staff as needed to contain any possible spread of the virus and to identify proper testing frequencies for all GRTC staff moving forward. GRTC continues to encourage any staff who think they may have been exposed to the virus or may be experiencing COVID-like symptoms to be proactively tested and quarantined pending test results. This process allows GRTC to quickly identify and contain any potential spread of the virus to other staff, ensuring all GRTC employees who test positive receive early and full medical care.

Timm adds, “Every day our Operators dedicate themselves to providing essential mobility services for our community, and yet there are still too many people who refuse to wear masks in public. Now that businesses are reopening, many more people need our services to get to work and there is no ability to social distance on a packed bus. It’s simple. Wear a mask.”

High-touch surfaces at GRTC facilities and vehicles are disinfected daily with many areas also cleaned regularly during and between shifts. Additional cleaning personnel contracted from OBS Janitorial begin work Monday, May 11 to help with enhanced daily fleet cleaning. Staff continue to practice social distancing and follow CDC guidance to wear cloth face coverings. Passengers should wear face coverings when riding, space out on-board when possible, and use on-board hand sanitizer stations currently being installed on the fleet.

For the most complete and latest GRTC updates during this pandemic, please visit our website.

GRTC is a public service corporation providing mobility services in the Greater Richmond area. GRTC’s current operational budget of $53.9M primarily funds daily mobility operations and vehicle maintenance. GRTC provides more than 9.25 million trips annually.

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