An employee of the Winston-Salem Transit Authority has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, Winston-Salem officials said, adding that co-workers of the employee who may have come into contact with the employee are being required to wear facial coverings.
The job that the employee holds was not identified because of privacy regulations. City officials noted that WSTA has been following federal, state and local guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of the virus since the pandemic started, including cleaning and sanitizing buses.
As well, the city instituted fare-free rides as a way of further insulating passengers from contact with drivers. Fixed-route buses have a 15-passenger limit, while Trans-Aid buses, which serve the elderly and people with disabilities, have a nine-passenger limit.
In most cases, passengers get onto a bus using the rear door and leave by the same door, which maximizes the passenger’s distance from the driver.
Damon Dequenne, the assistant city manager, said that “right now, we don’t believe there was any close contact by that employee with employees or passengers.”
“The employee did the right thing and notified the supervisor immediately,” Dequenne said. “They followed all the proper protocols. We wish the employee well and we are glad it appears that the measures we are taking have been effective.”
WSTA buses are running a modified schedule that provides time for disinfecting buses. To make travel more convenient for people shopping for necessities, WSTA also relaxed the two-bag rule that was formerly in place.