GoBus employee contracts COVID-19, local taxis continuing service
Taxis will continue to shuttle riders while GoBus stays off the roads
An employee who supports the St. John's GoBus para-transit service is one of the 82 people in Newfoundland and Labrador who have tested positive for COVID-19.
MVT Canadian Bus, which runs the service, said the employee was contacted by public health officers Sunday and began self-isolation. The employee told the company about the diagnosis Wednesday.
"The employee is not in a role that interacts with passengers, the public or transit vehicles in service in St. Johns," the company said in a statement Thursday.
There are 54 employees in self-isolation. Those who cannot work from home are still getting paid, a spokesperson told CBC's On The Go.
The last day the employee was at the GoBus facility was March 20.
Metrobus and GoBus are providing service only to those customers travelling to work, travelling for medical reasons (those feeling ill, however, should not use public transit) and<br>travelling to purchase essential goods such as groceries. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/covid19nlfd?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#covid19nlfd</a>—@MetrobusTransit
"Given the close working proximity of employees working at the GoBus Para-Transit service facility, and out of an abundance of caution, we have closed the facility, and all employees have been sent home for self-isolation."
Local taxi drivers who are already contracted and trained to provide the service will be shuttling riders using the same phone numbers and websites for customer service and trip planning.
GoBus said it uses hospital-strength cleaners on all surfaces that customers and staff come into contact with.
Metrobus cutting some routes
Metrobus will halt some of its routes — 5, 13, 24, 25 and 26 — as of Monday.
Other routes will have a reduced schedule. Metrobus already announced a nine-passenger maximum per bus.
Meanwhile, both Metrobus and GoBus have announced they will provide service only to those travelling to work, for medical reasons, or to buy essential goods such as groceries.
It is not clear how the new rules will be enforced.