On April 9, 2020, BARTA was informed that a BARTA mechanic has tested positive for COVID-19. The BARTA employee last worked on Thursday, April 2, 2020.
The employee is currently self-isolating at home in accordance with the guidelines established by the state health department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Although the employee who tested positive is not a route driver, BARTA has confirmed that mechanics do move buses to different locations, and that extra cleaning precautions have been put in place. “Buses continue to be deep cleaned every night and wiped down with EPA approved cleaners every night” states BARTA.
For reasons of privacy and confidentiality, BARTA is not sharing the name of the employee. BARTA has notified other employees who may have had contact with the operator and instructed them on the steps they should take.
BARTA continues to take extraordinary measures during this crisis including increased sanitation of the BARTA buses, increased cleaning at The BARTA Transportation Center (BTC), providing gloves and spray bottles of disinfectant and paper towels on each vehicle and closing the public restrooms.
Per Governor Wolf’s recommendation for the public, BARTA has also asked BARTA riders to only ride if the trips are essential and encourage wearing masks when riding the buses. Starting, Friday, April 10, 2020, Reading Police will be stationed at the BTC to enforce the “Stay at Home Order”, asking the public to only ride BARTA for essential trips.
BARTA is an essential business according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Department of Health, providing life-sustaining services for our community. BARTA will continue to encourage all employees and riders to practice good hygiene, report any health change immediately, and practice good social distancing and sanitation efforts in the workplace to minimize the risk of infection.