A King County Metro driver reported on Friday, March 27 that they tested positive for COVID-19. The employee had not worked since Monday, March 16. We send them our best wishes for their recovery.
We are not sharing personally identifiable information including the employee’s workplace out of respect for our colleague’s privacy and in keeping with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) protections.
Unfortunately, we expect more cases among our community and our employees. For transparency, we are sharing this first known case of a bus driver reporting a COVID-19 positive diagnosis. As previously stated, we will not be announcing every new illness or positive diagnosis in workplaces since that could lead to individuals being identified and could cause other spaces to be mistakenly seen as being without risk. Additionally, if employees fear their privacy will be compromised, they may not seek needed medical care, which hinders the ability of public health officials to respond. We can’t emphasize enough that, at this point, we all have to assume there is a risk of exposure in any public space and act accordingly.
Per our policies, any employee diagnosed with COVID-19 is directed to stay home and self-isolate for at least 14 days. And, while the signs of COVID-19 can be similar to other conditions, employees with possible symptoms are sent home and directed to self-quarantine until they have been symptom free for at least 72 hours out of an abundance of caution.
Guided by Public Health – Seattle & King County, Metro has taken a number of steps to respond to COVID-19. We have minimized driver-to-passenger interaction by directing riders to board at rear doors if they are able, eliminating fares, and installing safety straps. We’ve increased the frequency of sanitizing and deep cleaning of vehicles and facilities, and provide hand sanitizer and gloves to our drivers. We’re also dedicated to continuous improvement and have assembled a task force to explore how to further promote safety.
Transit drivers have always been relied upon to provide safe, reliable, friendly service that keeps all of us moving forward. As we respond to COVID-19 and so many of us have been asked to stay home, transit employees are essential personnel who serve our country by stepping forward. Transit drivers are relied upon everyday by first-responders, grocery store workers, and our family and neighbors who count on public transportation to get food and medical care. Metro thanks all of our drivers and other employees for their dedication and service.
During this unprecedented time, we’re committed to keeping our drivers, passengers, and community members as safe as possible while providing the essential service our region needs to respond, persevere, and recover.
- King County Metro Transit
- Public Health
- Other King County services
All you commenters who think you know how to run things, and how you know so much better… You’re ridiculous. No government entity is perfect but if you have never worked for one, you have NO idea how challenging it is to run a public service or entity. Any decision you make will cause half the population to criticize you and half to commend you. A shame all the whiners and know it alls have to fill comment sections. Thanks for those who do leave constructive thoughtful criticism that takes into account the massive logistics and complexities of running a public service.
Is metro waiting till driver die? Is that right federal government will hold the fund if not risk the drivers?
It might be the 916 since it has been taken out of service for today. Cleaning and maintenance they say
Is there a way drivers can be tasted or have a plan testing them before reporting to duty to limit any spreading of Covid19, because driver sometimes might not know if they do have any symptoms.
& this is why Washington has way more than estimated and we can not say it is slowing down because we are not doing what other countries are doing to stop the spread. Implement what HONG KONG did early on – virus mapping(they track the infected person through their bank account and phone and anyone near them gets a text message alert), everyone wearing mask & MASS testing.
You are absolutely right. King County is ran by greed. They is worse then a 3rd world solution.
If the city is shut down and people are not coming out. Then why is the city still running the busses. Putting their employees at risk.
Some riders are going to essential jobs. Some are going to doctors or pharmacies
I think letting workers know a little more information, such as routes and base location, is responsible in keeping the public, employees and their families safe and NOT a violation of HIPAA…that would not be enough information to identify the driver and yet enough for others to monitor their symptoms and help keep this virus in check. Below is straight from The department of Health and Human Services website on HIPPA and PHI disclosures that supports disclosing info to prevent or lessen the spread of COVID 19.
A covered entity may disclose PHI to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to a
person or the public, when such disclosure is made to someone they believe can prevent
or lessen the threat, which may include the target of the threat. For example, HIPAA
permits a covered entity, consistent with applicable law and standards of ethical
conduct, to disclose PHI about individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 to fire
department personnel, child welfare workers, mental health crisis services personnel, or
others charged with protecting the health or safety of the public if the covered entity
believes in good faith that the disclosure of the information is necessary to prevent or
minimize the threat of imminent exposure to such personnel in the discharge of their
duties. 45 CFR 164.512(j)(1).
Exactly. Why do we have idiots in charge. After getting through all this we should now be able to identify, fire and kick these elementary thinking blood suckers out of power. And that needs to be immediately.
How many people have to get it at metro before they shut it down ?
Amen, The fact is we’re expendable not essential! End this nonsense, people, any person can make other arrangements until the situation improves. Quit putting my families and my life at risk to run empty buses with only the most at risk people now riding buses ( Homeless ) SHAME! The decision makers are at home aren’t you.
Shame on you for thinking only homeless need metro!
At night it’s all transients, druggies and drunks now… None of it is necessary. There are no stores open. None of them are going to or coming from any work. And Metro may not care about the lives of the drivers but those drivers will spread this during the afternoon after being exposed by homeless the night before. You spread this for days or weeks before even knowing you might have it. There are also asymptomatic carriers.
I totally agree i was just saying this
Which route did the person drive??
They are not telling!
AS A DISABLED RIDER I FIND IT SAD THAT WHEN THE DRIVER SEES THAT I’M A DISABLED RIDER AND STILL TRYS TO FORCE ME TO ENTER THE BUS FROM THE BACK DOOR WHEN I NEED THE BUS LOWERED!!!! I AM WAVING MY CANE TO LET THEM SEE I USE A CANE AND STUFF AND STILL THEY DRIVE PAST!!!! THE AREA WHERE I’M STANDING AT. IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT DISABLED RIDERS ARE STILL ABLE TO GET ON FROM THE FRONT DOORS!!!!!!! PER METRO YET SOME DRIVERS DON’T WANT TO TO FOLLOW METRO AND ADA RULES.
Stay home that’s what the Governor said
I understand this is a very bad situation but you can get on a bus and be right next to your own demise. This isn’t a joke and yet people seem to think they are bullet proof. It isn’t coat effective when you think of how much it is truly costing to run thesr things.
Is anyone contacting other employees who may have had contact or are you going to wait until more people get sick.
They only started have people use the back door a few days ago
for some, the bus is our only transportation. I am not asking for personally identifying information, But do need to know if it is one of the only routes I use so that I will know to also stay away from my children who have medical issues. routes 169, 168.914 or 916 I am not asking which of those or what time. I understand the person wanting privacy
corona virus droplets hang in the air of a bus and are circulated throughout the bus for hours. If a driver or passenger is an asymptomatic carrier or pre-symptomatic, the entire bus is contaminated. It also doesn’t matter who or where the driver works since drivers share the same filthy bathrooms from drivers of many other routes and bases and those exposed will spread the virus for days or weeks before having the first symptom. Metro is going to keep this spread going and the results will never be pinned on them since it’s so widespread – all over King County.
Can we at least know what route was driven or the part of the county so we can know if we could have been exposed?
Anoymous, it’s an East Base driver.
It doesn’t matter as drivers from different bases share filthy bathrooms and so there could be many drivers pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic who are currently spreading this to you wherever you ride…
Are Metro drivers being compensated extra for their part as Essential Employees, continuing to expose themselves on the front lines?
No but I’m sure metro got paid from the government to pay hazardous pay but it is the thieves that is in charge that is lying to the public and employee.
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