By Sam Catanzaro
Two Big Blue Bus drivers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Santa Monica bus agency announced Tuesday.
In a statement released Tuesday, Big Blue Bus (BBB) confirmed that two Motor Coach Operators reported that they tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on March 29.
According to BBB, both operators’ last day of work was Friday, March 20 and both are recovering under quarantine.
Buses operated by both of these individuals were “thoroughly disinfected and cleaned” before the vehicles were reassigned the next day, BBB says.
According to BBB, colleagues who may have been in contact with the drivers within the past 14 days have been notified and are now self-monitoring their health as guided by public health officials.
Any customers riding Rapid 12 (Westwood Blvd.), Route 7 (Pico Blvd.) or Route 8 (Ocean Park-UCLA Westwood) on Friday, March 20 should monitor themselves for possible symptoms, according to BBB.
Under measures implemented March 20 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, riders must board and exit through the rear door only, except those with a mobility device and fares are not currently being collected.
“As part of this measure, Big Blue Bus Operators have a designated physical distancing area that helps maintain a safe distance between drivers and customers,” BB said. “On board our fleet of 195 buses, Big Blue Bus has implemented additional daily cleaning and sanitizing efforts.”
Components treated with the disinfectant are stanchions, nylon straps, rails, operator areas, front and rear doors, seat frames, chime cords and other areas frequently touched by people.
BBB says operators also have also been provided gloves and hand sanitizer as an added prevention measure.
In addition, BBB noted in the statement that use of public transit should be limited to only essential travel.
“We encourage customers to avoid non-essential travel, limiting trips on public transit to work, medical care, pharmacy, grocery stores, and to provide care for family members,” BBB said.