On Tuesday evening, OC Transpo confirmed in a memo that a bus operator had tested positive for COVID-19. While the OC Transpo driver has been self-isolating since they developed symptoms, they had driven five different buses in the two days prior. Ottawa Public Health is now attempting to contact those who may have been on-board these routes.

In a memo obtained by Newstalk 580 CFRA on Tuesday, OC Transpo announced that one of their local bus drivers had recently tested positive for COVID-19.

The operator, who has been self-isolating at home since March 20, stopped working as soon as their symptoms developed. 

However, OC Transpo and Ottawa Public Health (OPH) are reportedly concerned about the 48 hours prior to these symptoms, during which the person drove five different buses.

According to health officials, the key dates for contact are March 18 to March 20, 2020.

The transit service is now working with OPH to get in contact with anybody who may have been in close contact with the driver during this period, including other OC Transpo employees.

"OPH is currently following up with family and friends who may have come into close contact with the individual,” General Manager of Transportation John Manconi explained.

“We have contacted all employees who may have come into close contact with the individual during those key dates," he added.

The service has released a full list of potentially affected routes.

In the memo, the transit service confirmed that all of the buses in question have been immediately removed from their routes.

They will now undergo a deep clean and full sanitation process before they are returned to action.

On March 16, OC Transpo changed the way that the public is allowed to board buses, in response to COVID-19 concerns.

Passengers were only allowed to board at the back of the bus, away from the driver, with limited exceptions. Yellow caution tape was used to prevent customers from boarding at the front.

These protocols were in place prior to the bus driver becoming unwell.

In their notice, OC Transpo asks anybody who is concerned that they may have been exposed to the disease to contact OPH.

"As a reminder, COVID-19 is spread through droplets from coughs and sneezes, which travel a limited distance before falling to the ground," Manconi added.

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