Cherriots driver tests positive for COVID-19

A Cherriots bus on State Street outside the Oregon Capitol (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

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A Cherriots bus driver tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the transit agency told staff Tuesday.

In a memo to employees, Cherriots General Manager Allan Pollock said the driver worked on Friday, March 13 driving two different buses from about 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pollock told staff all the buses have been sanitized multiple times since then.

Cherriots spokeswoman Patricia Feeny said the memo is all the information the agency is releasing about the driver.

Feeny couldn’t immediately provide which routes the driver took on Friday.

In Marion County, there are 43 cases of COVID-19 and two people have died from the virus.

Earlier this week, Cherriots urged riders not to take transit unless it’s absolutely necessary. Riders are also advised to enter through the back of the bus to prevent the spread of germs.

It has started reducing frequency on some routes – fifteen on Wednesday – and dropped specialty services, such as Cherriots Dial-a-Ride that takes seniors and people with disabilities to places like the grocery store. Its lobbies in downtown Salem and at the Keizer transit center remain closed.

This story was updated to reflect the date the driver was last at work.

Contact reporter Saphara Harrell: [email protected].