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2 more GRTC employees test positive for COVID-19; contact tracing underway

8 staffers currently on leave with COVID-19
Posted at 8:38 PM, Dec 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-06 23:44:45-05

RICHMOND, Va. – GRTC announced Sunday that two more employees have tested positive for COVID-19 after the company warned riders earlier in the day to plan for "significant service delays" for "at least the next several days" as staffers await test results.

The positive tests are the 29th (Case #32) and 30th (Case #33) employees to test positive for the virus since March.

Officials said the 29th employee, who had public-facing duties and was last at work Friday, Dec. 4, is in quarantine at home. That case is suspected to be linked to Case #31 from "outside-of-work social interactions together."

Additionally, the 30th employee, who had public-facing duties and was last at work Wednesday, Dec. 2, is in quarantine at home. That case is confirmed to have non-work exposure to the virus, according to officials.

COVID-19 in Virginia: 3,880 new cases reported; positivity tops 10.5%

“Contact tracing efforts are underway for the new cases this weekend, and as we ask any potentially compromised staff to quarantine, we will continue to have service disruptions," GRTC CEO Julie Timm said. "I encourage customers making essential trips on GRTC to secure alternate transportation to reach their destinations, and we plan to continue offering emergency rides home through our on-demand partner UZURV for passengers left stranded at bus stops without service.”

Seven of the eight people on leave with COVID-19 are recovering at home, transit company officials said.

"Case #26 was released from the hospital this weekend and their condition is improving," a spokesperson for the transit company said. "Case #31 is being treated for complications from the virus at a local hospital."

Officials said the cases are believed to have been contracted while the staffers were off-duty and from family members or non-work activities.

GRTC officials said they will continue to host more voluntary, free COVID-19 testing events for staff.

COVID-19 Confirmed Staff Cases To Date:

1st Case: Reported April 6. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

False 2nd Case: Reported April 29, but later determined on May 6 with secondary testing to be a false-positive. Employee, a bus Operator, was cleared by the Virginia Department of Health and is back at work.

Actual 2nd Case: Initial results reported to GRTC on May 3 as an asymptomatic positive test. Secondary test results received on May 6 confirmed the positive result. Employee was on paid sick leave starting on the initial test date of May 2. Employee is a recent hire and has not been involved in public bus service. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

3rd Case: Initial results reported to GRTC on May 2 as negative test. The GRTC employee, a bus Operator, exhibited asthma symptoms on May 7, was relieved from duty to receive medical attention, was re-tested and was reported positive for COVID-19. Employee was treated in a local hospital due to complications from underlying health conditions. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

4th Case: Initial results reported May 6 as an asymptomatic positive test. The employee, a bus Operator, was on paid sick leave since May 6. Secondary test results were received the afternoon of May 8 and confirmed the positive results. The employee was treated overnight at a local hospital and released. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

5th Case: Potential contact with 3rd Case noted May 7. The employee, a bus Operator, was on paid sick leave since May 8, was tested, and confirmed positive for COVID-19 on May 13. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

6th Case: The employee, a bus Operator, was tested on Sunday, May 24 after experiencing mild symptoms starting on Saturday, May 23. The positive test result was returned on Tuesday, May 26. The employee had not been at work since Monday, May 18 and is not suspected to have contracted COVID-19 while on duty. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

7th Case: Confirmed May 27. Case 7 is a part-time bus Operator who had not been at work since May 20. Case 7 has recovered and is back at work.

8th Case: Confirmed May 30. The employee, a bus Operator, was traced by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) as a likely connection to Case 7. The last time the Operator was on duty was May 27. All identified likely contacts with Cases 7 and 8 were contacted, quarantined, and tested in accordance with guidance from VDH. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

9th Case: Confirmed June 1. The employee, a bus Operator, is likely connected to Case 6. The last time the Operator was on duty was May 27. Case 9 was tested on May 28 and received results June 1. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

10th Case: Confirmed June 3. The employee, a bus Operator, is not believed to be connected to any previous staff cases. The last time Case 10 was on duty was May 27; testing occurred on May 30. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

11th Case: Confirmed June 4. The employee, a bus Operator, is not believed to be connected to any previous staff cases. The last time Case 11 was on duty was June 1; testing occurred on June 2. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

12th Case: Confirmed late June 4. The employee is not believed to be connected to any previous staff cases. The last date Case 12 was on duty was June 2; testing occurred on June 4. Case 12 was treated in a hospital because of underlying health conditions.

13th Case: Confirmed June 7. The employee is not believed to be connected to any previous staff cases. The last date Case 13 was on duty was June 5; testing occurred on June 5. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

14th Case: Confirmed June 13. The employee, a bus Operator, is not believed to be connected to any previous staff cases. The last date Case 14 was on duty was June 6; testing occurred on June 11. Case 14 is recovered and is back at work.

15th Case: Confirmed July 20. The employee was last on duty at GRTC on July 10. The employee has no public-facing service functions. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

16th Case: Confirmed July 20. The employee is a contractor for GRTC and has no public-facing service functions. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

17th Case: Confirmed July 26. The employee was last on duty at GRTC on July 23. The employee has no public-facing service functions. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

18th Case: Confirmed July 30. This employee is a contractor for GRTC, was last on duty at GRTC on July 23. This employee has public-facing service functions, and this case is not suspected in connection with any other employee or contractor cases. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

19th Case: Confirmed August 18. This employee was last on duty at GRTC on August 15. The employee had public-facing service functions. The employee died from complications caused by the virus on September 23, 2020.

20th Case: Confirmed August 20. This employee was last on duty at GRTC on August 18 and was quarantined from GRTC. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

21st Case: Confirmed September 1. Case #21 is part of the GRTC workforce with public-facing service duties and was last at GRTC on August 28. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

22nd Case: Confirmed September 14. Case #22 is part of the GRTC workforce with public-facing service duties and was last at GRTC on September 9. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

23rd Case: Confirmed September 26. Case #23 is part of the GRTC workforce with public-facing service duties and was last at GRTC on September 21. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

24th Case: Confirmed September 30. Case #24 is part of the GRTC workforce with public-facing service duties and was last at GRTC on September 26. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

25th Case: Confirmed November 6. Case #25 is the 3rd GRTC contractor to test positive and was last at GRTC on November 3. Employee has recovered and is back at work.

26th Case: Confirmed November 24. Case #26 is the 23rd GRTC employee to test positive and was last at GRTC on November 18. The employee has public-facing duties, was treated at a local hospital for complications from COVID-19, and is now in recovery at home.

27th Case: Confirmed November 26. Case #27 is the 24th GRTC employee to test positive and was last at GRTC on November 25. The employee has public-facing duties and is now quarantined at home.

28th Case: Confirmed November 28. Case #28 is the 25th GRTC employee to test positive and was last at GRTC on November 25. The employee has public-facing duties and is now quarantined at home.

29th Case: Confirmed November 30. Case #29 is the 26th GRTC employee to test positive and was last at GRTC on November 27. The employee has public-facing duties and is now quarantined at home.

30th Case: Confirmed November 30. Case #30 is the 27th GRTC employee to test positive and was last at GRTC on November 11. The employee has no public-facing duties and is now quarantined at home.

31st Case: Confirmed December 5. Case #31 is the 28th GRTC employee to test positive and was last at GRTC on November 28. The employee has public-facing duties and is being treated at a local hospital for complications from COVID-19.

32nd Case: Confirmed December 6. Case #32 is the 29th GRTC employee to test positive and was last at GRTC on December 4. The employee has public-facing duties and is in quarantine at home. Case #32 is suspected to be connected with Case #31 from outside-of-work social interactions together.

33rd Case: Confirmed December 6. Case #33 is the 30th GRTC employee to test positive and was last at GRTC on December 2. Case #33 is confirmed to have non-work exposure to the virus. The employee has public-facing duties and is in quarantine at home.