SANTA CLARITA (CNS) - The city of Santa Clarita announced today that one of its contracted bus drivers has died after testing positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.
A total of three bus drivers had tested positive for the virus, and the city is working with its contractor, MV Transportation, to ensure all buses are sanitized and deep-cleaned.
“Today, the city of Santa Clarita was notified of three positive cases of coronavirus, COVID-19, among bus drivers with Santa Clarita Transit,” the city stated on its Facebook page. “Sadly, one of the drivers passed away this morning. The city sends heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.”
Officials with MV Transportation said the driver last worked on Friday and drove commuter trips to North Hollywood and Warner Center. The driver reported becoming ill Saturday and subsequently was hospitalized.
The second bus driver who tested positive also last worked Friday along commuter trips to North Hollywood and The Warner Center, MV officials said. Those two positive tests were reported one day after an MV driver in Santa Clarita tested positive for COVID-19, but that employee has not driven a city bus since March 17.
No further information was provided on the condition of the two surviving bus drivers who tested positive.
MV Transportation officials said some of its Dial-a-Ride and commuter routes in Santa Clarita have been reduced due to a large decline in ridership, but it was not because operators were not able to come to work because they're sick.
The city of Santa Clarita has also implemented measures to protect drivers and passengers, including suspending the farebox and requiring passengers to enter and exit only through the rear bus doors.
MV said it has notified employees who were in close contact with the drivers, and they have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. All vehicles driven by the individuals, workspaces and other areas of operation have received a deep-cleaning.
The substance MV said it is using to clean its buses is an “extra- strength, hospital-grade” disinfectant that has “proven to be effective” against COVID-19, they said.