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BART Frontline Worker Tests Positive For COVID-19

Obtained from Wikipedia under Creative Commons licensing
Warm Springs-bound train at Lake Merritt station in June 2019

 On Tuesday afternoon BART officials released a statement, saying that another of their employees has tested positive for the coronavirus.

BART officials say they were made aware of their employee’s diagnosis on Tuesday afternoon. While this employee worked in stations and on BART trains, BART officials say that they did not have direct contact with the public. The last day the employee worked was Sunday and they are currently in quarantine.  Officials also say that the employee wore a mask and gloves during their shifts and adhered to social distancing guidelines.  BART says that they are utilizing contact tracing and that all employees who came into contact with the infected worker have since been quarantined for testing.

This is the first employee in a public-facing role to test positive for the virus. However, according to the statement, two other workers with positions "behind the scene" contracted coronavirus in recent weeks.  BART says both workers have since recovered.

The BART system has been engaged in enhanced cleaning practices to disinfect train cars and stations.  These include using a disinfectant fog on all in-use cars every twenty-four hours and wiping down all high touch surfaces at least six times per janitorial shift.  All stations are cleaned multiple times each day. 

BART has faced a drastic decrease in ridership due to the coronavirus, and as a result trains are not running as frequently.  Trains are now running every thirty minutes on weekdays and service ends at nine p.m. every night. Weekend service now begins at eight a.m.

Joshua Sirotiak is an environment reporter for KALW in San Francisco. He's a working musician, father and self-proclaimed nerd who has previously produce audio journalism for NBC News and Chicago Public Media.