A Honolulu bus operator, who tested positive for COVID-19, continued to drive buses for about a week with symptoms before being tested Friday, StarAd writer Rob Shikina reported. The operator drove at least one route a day Monday through Friday out of the Pearl City division. Routes driven by the infected operator last week [updated]:
- Friday, June 26: 12:12-9:52 p.m., Route 42, Ewa Beach-Waikiki, Bus 190
- Thursday, June 25: 12:48-10 p.m., Route 9, Kaimuki-Pearl Harbor, Bus 962
- Wednesday, June 24: 1:30- 9:54 p.m., Route 501, Mililani Mauka, Bus 650
- Tuesday, June 23: 1:01-8:17 p.m., Route 88-A, North Shore Express, Bus 670
- Monday, June 22: 5:01-7:06 a.m., Route 40, Honolulu- Makaha, Bus 801
- Monday, June 22: 10:23 a.m.- 5:56 p.m., Route 40, Honolulu-Makaha, Bus 834
I rode 42 bus last week. Although it appears this driver was not the COVID19-positive employee, I was highly concerned that he was not wearing a face mask, face shield and failed to close the plastic curtain. Could have been him; could be any of us. This is why 100% of people must wear face masks or PPE around others.
Have called DaBus previously and complained about lack of #MaskedUp drivers. Staff told me drivers with medical issues are not required to wear face masks. Such drivers can kill others!
Roger Morton, president and general manager of Oahu Transit Services (OTS), which operates TheBus and TheHandi-Van, explained masks are mandatory for riders while riding on city buses and asks riders to continue eliminating unnecessary travel.
He said drivers are on the road about eight hours a day and are required to wear a mask when people are getting on or off the bus, but can remove it between stops. My driver didn’t follow policy.
“This was not to be totally unexpected.”
Roger Morton, president and general manager of Oahu Transit Services
The driver on my bus DID NOT #MaskUp; #ShieldUp or pull the curtain when we embarked or disembarked. This directly violates DaBus policy. As Morton said, when employees violate company policy, it’s not totally unexpected they will contact COVID19 or infect others.
Morton told media upon learning of the positive case that OTS implemented their previously-designed response plan to determine which employees had direct, prolonged contact with the infected operator, as well as to sanitize facilities where the infected driver had been. What about passengers? Morton doesn’t understand SARS-CoV-2 infectious transmission.
El Pais reviewed a group of devout Buddhists traveling by bus for a religious ceremony. in China This was one of three scenarios for outbreaks of COVID19 that have been carefully documented by authorities.
Patient 0, a 64-year-old woman (yellow), had been in contact with people from Wuhan. She had no symptoms until the following day. In total, 23 people were infected on the bus. No one became ill on other buses, despite the fact they were all mixing at a ceremony.
In our local case, the driver on my bus may have been Patient Zero. By not wearing a face mask or face shield, his breath and possible COVID19-infectious moisture droplets would quickly and easily spread throughout the bus. The illustration above shows how recirculating AC transmits the viral pathogens to unsuspecting passengers.
“We’re confident that protections that we put into place and some of the procedures we put into place will help keep the workforce and our other passengers as safe as possible. We want to do everything to the maximum extent we can to protect both our workforce and our passengers.”
Jon Nouchi, deputy director of the city Department of Transportation Services
Jon Nouchi, deputy director of the city Department of Transportation Services, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s transmission criteria for the virus describe a sustained interaction between people for the virus to be spread. He said the interaction on the bus between driver and passenger is much shorter. This is DEAD WRONG.
Nouchi is a CoVidiot. He considers there is only one or two interactions between driver and passengers: when they get on and get off. Yet the interaction continues the ENTIRE time passengers are on the bus due to recirculating AC.
I’m a public health professional. Begged and pleaded with Lt. Governor Dr. Jekyll Green to mask up residents March 19th. He didn’t make the voluntary recommendation until weeks later. The infections and subsequent deaths are on his incompetent hands.
Shikina reported in his article several bus riders said they felt DaBus was doing what it could to keep riders safe. They’re not experts. As demonstrated here, DaBus is not doing all it can.
The agency claims it has been working hard to keep buses sanitized. Yet this isn’t done continually. Our family includes essential workers and need public transportation. We’ve never seen any cleaning during operations during the day.
“We have an army of our employees that are wiping down all touch surfaces on all buses every day,” Morton reported. He claims contractors come in nightly to deploy O3 fog that sanitizes surfaces that cannot be reached by hand within the buses.
He boasted the agency has been encouraging physical distancing for riders through signs and audio messages. AC recirculation can spread infectious viral pathogens from front-to-back of the bus. Sitting six feet apart has zero impact on this. Morton is completely incompetent.
Morton says passengers have largely been compliant. I believe that’s accurate. None of us want to be infected. The issue in this case is DaBus driver refused to follow company policy. Employees and management are not responsible or competent.
“Public transit at this time is a service that is meant for essential trips only,” Morton said. Essential or not, if drivers and DaBus administrators are not following best practices and lack understanding how infectious diseases spreads, none of us are safe.
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