A Metro Transit bus driver trainee has tested positive for COVID-19, but officials do not believe he had any contact with the general public.
The employee, who was not named, works out of the Heywood Garage in Minneapolis, according to Ryan Timlin, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005, which represents some Metro Transit employees.
About 30 colleagues who came in contact with the employee are quarantined, but no one else has exhibited symptoms, Timlin said.
The Metropolitan Council, which operates Metro Transit, said in a statement, “once we were informed of the positive test result, we quickly put into place enhanced cleaning practices.” The regional planning body said it is working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health.
Beyond current virus-related cleaning practices and increased air being pumped into the ventilation system of buses, Metro Transit’s facilities team began cleaning and disinfecting areas of the building that may have been contaminated, the council said.
“To the best of our knowledge, this employee did not operate any Metro Transit vehicles with the general public on board,” the council said.
The employee, who has so far exhibited only minor symptoms, is training to become a bus driver, Timlin said.
Under Gov. Tim Walz’ shelter-in-place order, bus drivers and light-rail operators are considered essential. Since the pandemic hit, Metro Transit has said passengers should take buses and trains for essential travel only.