Several METRO employees test positive for COVID-19

The Metro Transit Authority of Harris County announced Tuesday that more employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a release, those who tested positive included two bus operators, a First Transit contract driver for METROLift, a fare inspector, a METRO Police officer, a bus maintenance trainer, bus cleaner, METROLift dispatcher and printing services contractor tested positive.

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The first driver, according to METRO, last worked on June 16 and drove the following route:

Route                                Date              Time
8 West Bellfort                   6/10         1:45pm-10:17pm 
                                           6/15         6:56am-3:32pm
                                           6/16         3pm-10:42pm
63 Fondren                         6/5           9:47am-11:06am 
                                            6/9           11:40am-7:20pm
98 Briargate                        6/12         5:40am-1:29pm
171 Fondren Town Center  6/3           4:37am-8:42am
269 Southwest Frwy           6/16         4:55am--9:01am

The second driver's last day, according to METRO, was on June 17 and drove the following route: 

Route                                   Date            Time
56 Airline/Montrose               6/7            5:02am-3pm                                    
56 Airline/Montrose              6/14           5:02am-3pm
60 Cambridge                       6/10           5:47am-11:25am                               
                                              6/17           5:47am-11:25am
63 Fondren                           6/4-6/5       7:55am-12:04pm
                                             6/11-6/12    7:55am-12:04pm
68 Braeswood                        6/6            5:03am-1:16pm
                                               6/13          5:03am-1:16pm
170 Missouri City Express   6/4-6/5        3:32pm-7:49pm
                                           6/10-6/12      3:32pm-7:49pm

The fare inspector's last day on the job was June 15, METRO said. The inspector worked the following rail station platforms along the Red Line: 

Fulton/North Central Station                    6/8-6/9
Downtown Transit Center Station             6/10
McGowen Station                                   6/11-6/12
Main Street  Square Station                      6/15

The First Transit contract driver provided services for METROLift on June 13, June 15, June 16 and last worked on June 17, according to METRO. All other employees, including the METRO police officer, bus maintenance employee, bus cleaner, METROLift dispatcher, and printing services contractor had no contact with the public, according to the release. 

In total, 44 METRO employees and 10 contractors have tested positive, METRO said. Authorities added that 22 of the employees had no contact with the public. 

On Thursday, METRO will be seeking approval from its Board of Directors to adopt a health and safety rule requiring all METRO riders, employees, contractors, and visitors to wear a face covering.

If adopted, the rule would be consistent with a mandate signed by Hidalgo County Judge Lina Hidalgo requiring everyone over the age of 10 to wear a face covering while in businesses or on commercial properties, including employees, visitors, and customers. 

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METRO officials said they are conducting temperature checks of employees before they begin their shift. METRO said they are working with public health officials so they can identify and notify anyone who traveled the routes driven by the bus operators during those time frames, as well as anyone else who may have been impacted by the other positive cases.