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PSTA bus driver tests positive for COVID-19

The driver operated route 19 on U.S. 19.

A Pinellas County bus driver tested positive for COVID-19, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority announced Thursday.

The driver is the sixth publicly-facing employee to contract the virus.

The driver last reported to work on Wednesday, June 24th and drove only on Route 19 on June 15, 17, 18, 23 and 24.

The agency said they don’t believe passengers came in contact with the driver, who is unnamed for health privacy, because the driver remained socially distant from all passengers.

They urge anyone who rode that route on those days who is experiencing symptoms to seek medical advice.

Route 19 operates along U.S. 19 from Largo Transit Center north to Tarpon Springs. Its major stops include the Largo Transit Center, Tri City Plaza, Clearwater Mall, Hampton Road and Westfield Shopping Town.

The operator is currently under treatment.

PSTA requires riders to wear protective face coverings while riding and encourages riders to use transit for essential travel only. That includes trips to work, hospitals or health care providers, pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, food distribution centers, schools or to provide care for family members.

Drivers also have the authority to limit the number of riders on their bus to no more than 12 people at a time to encourage safe distancing between passengers.

PSTA also supplies drivers with gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant.

In all, 12 PSTA employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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