July 22, 2020

The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County’s transit contractor, Keolis, is reporting a bus driver tested positive for COVID-19.

The driver has not been at work since July 13. This employee went to the doctor on July 13 and was given a COVID-19 test, which later came back positive. The driver notified Keolis about the positive COVID-19 test on July 21. Keolis then notified the RTC on July 21.

“The RTC is committed to providing safe, reliable transportation in our community. We have precautions in place to keep our passengers and contracted drivers safe,” said RTC Executive Director Bill Thomas.

The driver did not have any exposure or close-contact interactions with passengers within the guidelines of 15 minutes or more and less than six feet. All drivers are required to wear masks or face coverings when driving and there is a plastic barrier shield between drivers and passengers.

Keolis performed a contact-tracing analysis and concluded that no co-workers had close interactions with said driver within the guidelines of 15 minutes or more and less than six feet within the 48 hours prior to July 13. The exposure did not occur at the work place or on any work vehicle. All Keolis employees have been notified.

Personal responsibility is critical to protect one’s health and those around you. We urge everyone to be diligent during the pandemic. When out in public, wash hands frequently, wear a face covering or mask, and follow social distancing guidelines. “We encourage people who believe they may have been exposed, or who have COVID-19 symptoms, to contact a medical professional,” said Thomas. “We are grateful for the essential bus operators who provide transportation to those who rely on it in our community and we wish this driver a speedy recovery.”

Safety Precautions in Place:
The health and safety of the community and RTC’s contracted frontline transit workers and transit riders are the RTC’s top priorities. The RTC and its contractors have been in full compliance of the Governor’s mask-wearing directive as of its effective date of June 26, 2020, and continue to adhere to previous directives issued.

During the seven-day period from July 7-13, 2020, RTC had 99.9% or better compliance with Governor Sisolak’s mask-wearing directive on transit.

The RTC and its contractors continue to take proactive steps to ensure passengers wear face coverings as well as transit drivers on RTC transit services, including:

  • Promote social distancing guidelines at transit facilities and on transit vehicles with designated seating.
  • Installed plastic barrier shield between bus driver and passengers boarding buses.
  • Providing free face masks on all buses and at RTC Customer Service at 4TH STREET STATION in Reno and CENTENNIAL PLAZA in Sparks.
  • Educating passengers who are not wearing face coverings about Governor Sisolak’s Face Coverings Directive and providing complimentary face covering upon boarding.
  • Posting signage on buses and at bus stations reminding customers of the Governor’s Directive to wear face coverings in public and on transit.
  • Providing complimentary face coverings onboard RTC ACCESS and FlexRIDE services.
  • Asking drivers to report passengers who do not wear face coverings on RTC RIDE transit services to Keolis dispatch.
  • The RTC and its contractors continue to adhere to exceptions for individuals who may not be able to wear a face covering or mask, as outlined in the Governor’s Directive and in accordance with federal protections outlined under Title VI and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

More Information:
The RTC will continue to monitor and implement safety protocols and recommendations as directed by Governor Sislolak, public health authorities, and local leaders to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees, our transit and construction contractors, our customers and our community. This situation is fluid and is subject to change, as needed. Go to rtcwashoe.com and follow RTC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Disclaimer: All RTC transit properties and transit vehicles have vested federal interest, triennial federal oversight, and, require adherence to federal mandates.