TheHandi-Van operator tests positive for COVID-19


HONOLULU (KHON2) — One new case of COVID-19 involved a TheHandi-Van driver. Oahu Transit Services confirmed the operator tested positive Thursday.

City officials said the driver did not have any symptoms while working and the risk of infection to any passengers or other drivers remains low. They added that anyone who came in contact with the driver has been notified.

Friday, Oahu Transit Services President Roger Morton confirmed the third case of an OTS driver testing positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic started. Officials said TheHandi-Van driver notified human resources that a member of his family tested positive Monday.

“This was a case of family members that also were positive. We think there’s very little likelihood that it was a transmitted through the workplace,” said Morton.

Deputy Director of Transportation Services Jon Nouchi said a number of steps were taken to address any possible contamination

“Following the protocols in place, that operator was immediately placed on leave and quarantined and did go seek a test for COVID-19. The operator did not have any COVID-19 symptoms,” Nouchi explained.

“As soon as we found that out on Monday , even though we didn’t have a positive test (yet), we removed the van from service. We cleaned and disinfected the van,” Morton said.

The driver’s positive test result came in Thursday.

Morton said the driver took a thermal temperature scan before his shift Monday, which came out normal.

He interacted with eight passengers during his shift and had minimal contact with other OTS employees according to Morton.

“We’ve contacted all the riders of that particular van. They were very appreciative of us reaching out to them individually.”

The passengers, along with OTS employees who came in contact with the driver, were all offered a COVID-19 test.

Morton said the situation is considered low risk since all were wearing masks at the time of interaction. He said the driver is doing well and no longer has any symptoms.

“We want to remind everyone the wearing of masks and the discretion to take trips only when essential, and to not be out and about, that is the greatest prevention we can do to keep our transit system safe for our employees our Handi-Van operators and our passengers,” Nouchi said.

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