CLEVELAND, OH -- Today, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) learned of the first confirmed case of COVID-19. The employee, an operator, last worked on Thursday, March 19. The following day, the employee presented flu-like symptoms, followed protocol by calling off sick and began a period of self-quarantine. After testing positive for the virus, the employee was admitted to the hospital for treatment.
Vehicles last assigned to this operator were disinfected by staff prior to the next day’s pullout pursuant to our enhanced cleaning protocols that were implemented on March 5.
"We're all hoping for a quick recovery, and we send our operator all our best wishes," said RTA CEO and General Manager India Birdsong.
"We are reminding staff of the importance of self-monitoring their health," said Birdsong. "Staff are asked to take their temperatures each day prior to reporting to work and to stay home if registering a fever of 100.4, or if they have flu like symptoms. Additionally, we have been reminding employees about the importance of washing hands and other safety measures. Finally, if employees have flu-like symptoms or respiratory illness, they are instructed to stay home and contact their doctor immediately."
RTA is working diligently to provide all employees the safest possible work environment. Every day, staff disinfects every bus and train, with special emphasis on all touchable surfaces. Crews are using a cleaning agent recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on every vehicle, every day. RTA has added to the protocol a new ultraviolet disinfection system for all buses and trains as well as Transit Police vehicles, all Transit Centers and all RTA public facilities, bus districts, train stations and office buildings.
"RTA continues to closely monitor the Ohio Governor’s and the Ohio Department of Health’s daily safety recommendations as well as those of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)," Birdsong said. "Our number one priority remains protecting our most valued assets – our employees and our customers."