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Comet bus driver quarantined after testing positive for COVID-19

The driver last worked Tuesday, operating routes 701/75, bus unit 802.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Comet bus driver has been quarantined after testing positive for COVID-19, according to officials with the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority.

Officials say the driver, who is employed by a subcontractor, RATP Dev USA, Inc., tested positive for the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 on Wednesday and will continue to self-quarantine for 14 days and then will be retested before being allowed return to work, pending a negative result.  

The driver last worked Tuesday and operated routes 701/75, bus unit 802. Any concerned passengers who were on the affected routes may access low to no-cost community testing resources by visiting DHEC's website for more information.

Officials say increased disinfection of all vehicles and facilities has been implemented since the start of the pandemic and mandatory masks or face coverings to ride The COMET buses or enter facilities went into effect early this summer.

Officials say the buses are being upgraded with plexiglass barriers between the drivers and passengers to minimize the possibility of any exposure. This implementation not only minimizes the likelihood of transmission, but also protects the bus operators from any assault. The bus is currently receiving deep disinfecting, or fogging. 

The administration building, which holds the driver’s lounge will also receive this disinfecting. 

Bus operators and staff are required to use the multiple temperature check stations, located in the administration building which houses the drivers’ lounge, upon reporting for their shift. The COMET also provides complimentary on-site COVID testing monthly for all staff and drivers.

The COMET says it is their practice to notify the public if a customer-facing employee tests positive for COVID-19 for the purpose of contact tracing to minimize spread.