HSR bus driver tests positive for COVID

News Sep 14, 2020 by Katrina Clarke Hamilton Spectator

A Hamilton bus driver has tested positive for COVID-19.

The City of Hamilton put out a release Monday evening informing the public that a Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) bus conductor has tested positive for COVID. The risk to the public is “low” but the city decided to issue the release “due to the nature of the employee’s position working closely with the public.”

The driver last worked on Route 5 Delaware on Tuesday, Sept. 8, and Wednesday, Sept. 9.

The release states the driver notified the city of their case over the weekend after testing positive. The release does not state when the person started showing symptoms — or if they were asymptomatic — nor when they got tested. Public health typically considers a person contagious 48 hours before showing symptoms and also while sick.

The city says the operator and anyone they “may have come in contact with” are self-isolating at home.

Eric Tuck, the head of the city’s transit union, said the union does not know how the person caught the virus.

“Obviously we’re cornered about it,” Tuck said. “The health department is going to do tracing and tracking and let us know if there’s anything more we need to be worried about.”

Tuck said he couldn’t provide further details on the case, though the city said the driver is “recovering.”

It remains unclear if the person lives in Hamilton.

The city release states “contact tracing that is required is managed by the public health unit in the person’s home community where they reside, and that public health unit would be directly contacting anyone who would be part of the tracing for this case.”

“Given that HSR does not collect contact information for its riders, the city also wanted to immediately inform the public via the media and social media to ensure broad awareness in the community,” the city said.

Tuck urged the public to keep up mask-wearing, which is mandatory on public transit, though there are some exceptions.

“We are reminding all of our members as well as the public ... how important it is to follow the proper protocols,” Tuck said, referring to public health guidelines around sanitizing and mask-wearing. “We need to stay very vigilant on this.”

The city release states that, in order to keep riders safe throughout the pandemic, HSR has taking the following steps: installation of driver compartment bio-shields; daily cleaning and enhanced sanitizing of high-touch surfaces; more sanitizing products given to drivers; and free face masks handed out to riders at its HSR Hunter Street ticket office. All city employees — and the public — must also complete COVID-19 screening before entering a city facility.

Neither the city nor Hamilton public health typically notify the public when cases of COVID-19 are discovered in workplaces aside from congregate-care and health-care settings. Public health has said they would consider alerting the public if they found evidence of transmission within a workplace and were not able to contact people who were at high risk of exposure.

Katrina Clarke is a Hamilton-based reporter at The Spectator. Reach her via email: katrinaclarke@thespec.com

HSR bus driver tests positive for COVID

City of Hamilton says risk is ‘low’ but it is alerting the public out of an abundance of caution

News Sep 14, 2020 by Katrina Clarke Hamilton Spectator

A Hamilton bus driver has tested positive for COVID-19.

The City of Hamilton put out a release Monday evening informing the public that a Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) bus conductor has tested positive for COVID. The risk to the public is “low” but the city decided to issue the release “due to the nature of the employee’s position working closely with the public.”

The driver last worked on Route 5 Delaware on Tuesday, Sept. 8, and Wednesday, Sept. 9.

The release states the driver notified the city of their case over the weekend after testing positive. The release does not state when the person started showing symptoms — or if they were asymptomatic — nor when they got tested. Public health typically considers a person contagious 48 hours before showing symptoms and also while sick.

The city says the operator and anyone they “may have come in contact with” are self-isolating at home.

Eric Tuck, the head of the city’s transit union, said the union does not know how the person caught the virus.

“Obviously we’re cornered about it,” Tuck said. “The health department is going to do tracing and tracking and let us know if there’s anything more we need to be worried about.”

Tuck said he couldn’t provide further details on the case, though the city said the driver is “recovering.”

It remains unclear if the person lives in Hamilton.

The city release states “contact tracing that is required is managed by the public health unit in the person’s home community where they reside, and that public health unit would be directly contacting anyone who would be part of the tracing for this case.”

“Given that HSR does not collect contact information for its riders, the city also wanted to immediately inform the public via the media and social media to ensure broad awareness in the community,” the city said.

Tuck urged the public to keep up mask-wearing, which is mandatory on public transit, though there are some exceptions.

“We are reminding all of our members as well as the public ... how important it is to follow the proper protocols,” Tuck said, referring to public health guidelines around sanitizing and mask-wearing. “We need to stay very vigilant on this.”

The city release states that, in order to keep riders safe throughout the pandemic, HSR has taking the following steps: installation of driver compartment bio-shields; daily cleaning and enhanced sanitizing of high-touch surfaces; more sanitizing products given to drivers; and free face masks handed out to riders at its HSR Hunter Street ticket office. All city employees — and the public — must also complete COVID-19 screening before entering a city facility.

Neither the city nor Hamilton public health typically notify the public when cases of COVID-19 are discovered in workplaces aside from congregate-care and health-care settings. Public health has said they would consider alerting the public if they found evidence of transmission within a workplace and were not able to contact people who were at high risk of exposure.

Katrina Clarke is a Hamilton-based reporter at The Spectator. Reach her via email: katrinaclarke@thespec.com

HSR bus driver tests positive for COVID

City of Hamilton says risk is ‘low’ but it is alerting the public out of an abundance of caution

News Sep 14, 2020 by Katrina Clarke Hamilton Spectator

A Hamilton bus driver has tested positive for COVID-19.

The City of Hamilton put out a release Monday evening informing the public that a Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) bus conductor has tested positive for COVID. The risk to the public is “low” but the city decided to issue the release “due to the nature of the employee’s position working closely with the public.”

The driver last worked on Route 5 Delaware on Tuesday, Sept. 8, and Wednesday, Sept. 9.

The release states the driver notified the city of their case over the weekend after testing positive. The release does not state when the person started showing symptoms — or if they were asymptomatic — nor when they got tested. Public health typically considers a person contagious 48 hours before showing symptoms and also while sick.

The city says the operator and anyone they “may have come in contact with” are self-isolating at home.

Eric Tuck, the head of the city’s transit union, said the union does not know how the person caught the virus.

“Obviously we’re cornered about it,” Tuck said. “The health department is going to do tracing and tracking and let us know if there’s anything more we need to be worried about.”

Tuck said he couldn’t provide further details on the case, though the city said the driver is “recovering.”

It remains unclear if the person lives in Hamilton.

The city release states “contact tracing that is required is managed by the public health unit in the person’s home community where they reside, and that public health unit would be directly contacting anyone who would be part of the tracing for this case.”

“Given that HSR does not collect contact information for its riders, the city also wanted to immediately inform the public via the media and social media to ensure broad awareness in the community,” the city said.

Tuck urged the public to keep up mask-wearing, which is mandatory on public transit, though there are some exceptions.

“We are reminding all of our members as well as the public ... how important it is to follow the proper protocols,” Tuck said, referring to public health guidelines around sanitizing and mask-wearing. “We need to stay very vigilant on this.”

The city release states that, in order to keep riders safe throughout the pandemic, HSR has taking the following steps: installation of driver compartment bio-shields; daily cleaning and enhanced sanitizing of high-touch surfaces; more sanitizing products given to drivers; and free face masks handed out to riders at its HSR Hunter Street ticket office. All city employees — and the public — must also complete COVID-19 screening before entering a city facility.

Neither the city nor Hamilton public health typically notify the public when cases of COVID-19 are discovered in workplaces aside from congregate-care and health-care settings. Public health has said they would consider alerting the public if they found evidence of transmission within a workplace and were not able to contact people who were at high risk of exposure.

Katrina Clarke is a Hamilton-based reporter at The Spectator. Reach her via email: katrinaclarke@thespec.com