Valley Metro employee tests positive for coronavirus

Valley Metro says one of its employees tested positive for the coronavirus.

The company says the employee's last shift was on March 21 and the bus was removed from service for cleaning and disinfecting.

Valley Metro says it is in the process of identifying all employees who may have come in contact with the infected person and those employees will be sent home for self-quarantining.

Criticisms from drivers intensify

Drivers, meanwhile, are not holding back in their criticism of Valley Metro. On Monday, FOX 10's Matt Rodewald spoke with a Valley Metro bus driver, who talk about his working conditions.

“They give us one pair of rubber gloves and they say, once you go back and load a wheelchair and go back up front, take the gloves off and don’t touch anything on the bus. Well. I have one pair, what happens if I want to eat my lunch?" the driver said. He asked FOX 10 withhold his name out of fear of retribution.

On Wednesday, other drivers spoke up.

”They are telling the news they are deep cleaning and sterilizing our bosses nightly, and that is very false," said one driver, who did not want to be identified. "We ask for masks daily, they have not given us any hand sanitizer."

The driver made it clear that Valley Metro is not doing what they say they are doing: keeping the buses clean.

“I have pulled, out of the yard, a bus that was not in service with handprints, smears on every window. I took a picture of a roach that I killed. The dash was filthy," said the driver.

The news today that a driver tested positive for the coronavirus was not a surprise to the driver.

“We are in close proximity in a driver's lounge to other drivers. They hand us a key if we relieve a morning driver, and when we come back, they hand the same key to another driver. We’re touching the same steering wheel," the driver said.

The driver showed FOX 10 a letter to employees that indicates the driver has been in self-quarantine, but won’t say who it is.

Valley Metro officials have released a statement that acknowledged the situation, but with employees already driving in fear, the diagnosis adds to the uneasiness.

"You are going to have many more drivers for Valley Metro that test positive," said the driver.

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

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