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Message From Exec. Director on COVID-19 At OmniRide

Posted: 08/31/2020

 

A Message to our Passengers,

 

OmniRide has confirmed its first case of COVID-19 among our nearly 300 employees. Two employees tested positive late last week and notified First Transit, which began internal contact tracing with the employees immediately.

 

The affected employees last worked early last week and did not return to OmniRide upon feeling ill.  Out of precaution, additional rounds of vehicle and facility cleaning occurred following the first reports of illness.  These measures were taken based on the employees’ reported illness, even prior to their positive diagnosis. In any instance where employees have identified possible risk or exposure, the equipment and facility have been further sanitized.

 

OmniRide has been operating services six days a week for nearly six months since the pandemic began spreading in Northern Virginia, yet this is our first positive case. This does not happen by accident—this success only happens because of the vigilant attention we have given to the health of employees and passengers.

 

The protocols we have put into place on our local and commuter services—especially the blocked-off seating—have served to protect our passengers and employees.  Other safeguards in place since the start of the pandemic:

  • Enhanced cleaning was occurring as early as February with gloves, sanitizer, and masks available to all employees as soon as the supplies were delivered by our Emergency Operations Center partners.
  • OmniRide instituted local fare elimination, cashless express fares, and rear door entry to minimize passenger/operator interaction.  OmniRide marked off seats to keep operators distanced from passengers, closed the facility to visitors and passengers, and instituted improved layouts to prevent passenger gatherings.  Passenger capacity remains limited on buses.
  • OmniRide has additional cloth face coverings available to employees for distribution to passengers, their family, or general public.  OmniRide also continues to provide PPE, including gloves, face coverings, and hand sanitizer to all employees. 
  • We continue daily mid-shift vehicle sanitization with a focus on high contact surfaces.
  • Field Specialists were pulled from their regular duties to ensure rigorous cleaning protocols were taking place, and we recently created and filled a full-time position to support enhanced COVID-19 prevention efforts.

OmniRide is reinforcing our efforts to stop this public health pandemic and will continue to focus on employee, fleet, and facility cleanliness.  Thank you for supporting our efforts by wearing a face covering on all vehicles as well as ongoing hand hygiene.  All of OmniRide—passengers and the workforce—are in this together to keep our community safe.

 

Forward Together,

Bob Schneider