Nova Scotia

Transit garage shuts down after worker tests positive for COVID-19

Halifax Transit has confirmed one of its workers has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee worked at the Halifax Transit garage in the Burnside Industrial Park and the garage has now been closed.

Day shift crew at transit garage told not to come to work after positive COVID-19 test

Halifax Transit has confirmed one of its workers has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee worked at the Halifax Transit garage in the Burnside Industrial Park and the garage has now been closed. (Robert Short/CBC)

Halifax Transit has confirmed one of its workers has tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee worked at the Halifax Transit garage in the Burnside Industrial Park and the garage has now been closed down. 

Amalgamated Transit Union president Ken Wilson said the manager for bus maintenance contacted him late Wednesday night.

"His words were 'we have a positive case in the maintenance department,'" Wilson told CBC News.

The Halifax Transit bus depot in Burnside. (CBC)

The director of Halifax Transit, Dave Reage, sent out a mass email to transit workers, Mayor Mike Savage and municipal councillors.

"All maintenance staff on the evening shift have been sent home. Thorough disinfection of the Burnside Maintenance Department workspace is currently underway, with a particular focus on high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, work surfaces, tools, etc." the letter stated.

The letter went on to say the maintenance morning shift for Thursday has been advised to not report for their shift. It also said adjustments are being made in the shared work areas to ensure safe social distancing is made easier for staff.

The union has been expressing their concern for bus drivers during the outbreak of the virus and they are trying to get more information on the positive test.

"Now we have a Halifax Transit staff member that's infected," said Wilson. "If it was a mechanic, he works on the buses."

A spokesperson for Halifax Regional Municipality would not say what the person's position is at the garage.

In his letter, Reage said public health officials have been in contact with the individual who tested positive for COVID-19 and identified their close contacts.

The letter said public health officials indicated there is no risk to transit riders or the general public.

In a statement, HRM said Public Health advised the garage could remain operational and staff who have not been contacted could report to work.  

About the Author

Paul Palmeter is an award-winning video journalist born and raised in the Annapolis Valley. He has covered news and sports stories across the province for 30 years.