Six COVID-19 cases confirmed at Barrie Transit

Health unit says two of the original cases could be linked

Three more Barrie Transit staff have tested positive for COVID-19.

In a news release on Sunday afternoon, the City of Barrie said the positive test results were confirmed on Saturday. There are currently six Barrie Transit staff isolating at home following a positive COVID-19 test.

On April 15, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) declared a workplace outbreak because there could be a link between two of the cases. At this time, the three new cases have not been linked to the previous cases.

“The SMDHU continues to support the health policies and practices that Barrie Transit has in place, and as a result they believe the risk of spread is low,” according to the news release from the City.

The three original COVID cases all involved Barrie Transit drivers.

All buses are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after service each day and receive additional mid-day sanitization to further improve safety measures.

Barrie Transit will continue to operate as normal and maintain current service levels.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Barrie Transit has taken extra precautions to keep employees and riders safe and continues to follow the direction of the Health Unit. These measures include:

  • plexiglass shield around the driver
  • at least six feet of space between the driver and the first seat on the bus
  • enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of vehicles
  • requirement for masks in public areas
  • hand sanitizers on all vehicles
  • capacity limitations to support physical distancing
  • active screening of all employees completed on a daily basis
  • protocols in place that eliminates the requirement for physical contact between drivers and riders

Barrie Transit staff wear a mask or face covering when working in the public areas of the indoor public space unless the staff member is within or behind a physical barrier or is in an area of the premises that is not designated for public access. The operators (drivers) do not have to wear masks as they are separated from the public by plexiglass shields installed on buses. They do need to wear masks if they exit the driver seat/plexiglass area to secure a wheelchair/mobility device or enter the public area of the vehicle.