273 GRTC employees tested for COVID-19, with only 4 testing positive

273 GRTC employees tested for COVID-19, with only 4 testing positive
The new CEO of Greater Richmond Transit Co. has a vision of how to build on its recent breakthrough success of increased ridership, and it involves boosting regional commitment. (Source: Capital News Source)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Since mid-March, 273 GRTC employees have been tested for COVID-19 and only four of them have tested positive for the virus.

During the past week, GRTC says more than half of its workforce has voluntarily been tested for coronavirus. More results are still pending as GRTC encourages ongoing testing.

Timeline of COVID-19 cases reported by GRTC:

  • The first employee that tested positive for COVID-19 was reported on April 6. That person has since recovered and it back at work.
  • On April 29, it was reported that a bus operator tested positive but after a secondary test on May 6, it was determined to be a false positive. That employee was cleared by the health department and is back to work.
  • The actual second case was reported on May 3 as an asymptomatic positive test. A secondary test on May 6 confirmed the results. The employee remains on paid sick leave. The employee is a recent hire and not been involved with the bus service.
  • The third case was first reported on May 2 as negative but GRTC says the bus driver later exhibited asthma symptoms on May 7. They were retested and it came back positive. The employee is being treated at the hospital due to complications from underlying health conditions.
  • The fourth case was reported on May 6 as an asymptomatic positive test. A second test also confirmed the positive result. The bus driver is on paid sick leave and remains asymptomatic.

“My heart is very much with our Operator who is currently in the hospital and our other GRTC Family members impacted by COVID-19. All of GRTC is hoping for their full and quick recovery,” GRTC Chief Executive Officer Julie Timm said.

GRTC continues to work with the health department to help contain any possible spread of the virus.

“Every day our Operators dedicate themselves to providing essential mobility services for our community, and yet there are still too many people who refuse to wear masks in public. Now that businesses are reopening, many more people need our services to get to work and there is no ability to social distance on a packed bus. It’s simple. Wear a mask,” Timm said.

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