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.

Additional Resources