City of Stratford Transit Driver Tests Positive for COVID-19

Huron Perth Public Health Reminds People Importance of Physical Distancing as City of Stratford Transit Driver Tests Positive for COVID-19

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, April 10, 2020

A City of Stratford transit driver has tested positive for COVID-19. Huron Perth Public Health received the positive result on Friday, April 10. However, given the preventative measures that the City of Stratford had put in place for its transit employees and riders, the risk to the public is considered low.

“Given that we know COVID-19 is in our community, we are not surprised to see cases showing up in workplaces and in the service industry,” says Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health. “This is a good example of why we are urging people and workplaces to practice physical distancing and infection control.”

The transit driver became sick on April 1 and began self-isolating at home. While the individual drove the bus on the days leading up to their illness, the City of Stratford had already implemented infection control measures to protect riders and other drivers. Measures include rigorous daily cleaning, passenger entry and exit only through the rear door of the bus, bypassing the fare box, and keeping seats behind the driver empty.

 The City of Stratford is consulting with Huron Perth Public Health to determine if any changes to the transit service are necessary.

“The safety of our employees and the community as a whole is our top priority,” says Mayor Dan Mathieson, “so we want to make sure we're doing everything we can to reduce the risk of transmission.”

“What we know about COVID-19 is that it needs close contact between people to spread, and our investigation is showing that there was no close contact with members of the public during the days leading up to the driver becoming ill,” says Dr. Klassen.

The driver’s spouse is also a transit driver and is showing symptoms of COVID-19; their test results are pending. Huron Perth Public Health’s investigation into the spouse has begun and the risk is also considered low.

“It’s entirely possible that the next person who tests positive for COVID-19 could be a grocery store employee or staff person at a take-out restaurant, or, as we have seen, a healthcare worker,” says Dr. Klassen. “With people practicing physical distancing and workplaces taking extra precautions, we can minimize exposure if and when this happens and break the chains of transmission.”

Current Cases in Huron Perth

As of April 10, there are 30 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Huron and Perth. Currently, two long-term care homes have confirmed cases of COVID-19: Hillside Manor (1 case) and Greenwood Court (11 cases). Huron Perth Public Health continues to work closely with the long-term care homes to contain the outbreak and protect the residents and staff.

Weekend Hours for Huron Perth Public Health

Public Health work will continue over the weekend, with public health staff following up on any new cases of COVID-19, helping to manage outbreaks in long-term care homes, and continuing surveillance of ongoing cases and contacts. The website with confirmed case numbers will be updated daily over the weekend. As well, the Health Line phone intake line will be open daily from Friday, April 10 to Monday, April 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 1-888-221-2133 ext 3267.

 Says Dr. Klassen: “Thank you to everyone who is practicing physical distancing and taking extra measures to keep everyone around them safe and protected.”

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