Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Potential COVID-19 exposure on CATA bus, update on other local outbreaks

July 10, 2020
<p>Students get on and off CATA buses after MSU sent an email notifying students that administration canceled classes after noon on March 11, 2020.</p>

Students get on and off CATA buses after MSU sent an email notifying students that administration canceled classes after noon on March 11, 2020.

Photo by Alyte Katilius | The State News

The Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) confirmed a potentially new batch of COVID-19 community exposure across a handful of CATA bus routes July 10.

Amanda Darche, public information officer at the ICHD, stated in an announcement there was one symptomatic person who, several days prior to testing positive for the disease, rode on multiple CATA buses.

While the individual did wear a face covering, reducing the overall risk, transmission is still a possibility, and if you were on board any of the following routes during any of the following dates, the ICHD advises you monitor yourself for symptoms, potentially seek testing and isolate:

Tuesday, June 30; Wednesday, July 1; Friday, July 3

  • Routes 3 and 1 from 12-1 p.m.
  • Routes 1 and 12 from 7-8 p.m.

Thursday, July 2

  • Route 14 at 7:15 a.m.
  • Routes 14 and 1 from 12-1 p.m.

Symptoms may not fully develop until up to 14 days after exposure and asymptomatic infections can occur and are equally as contagious.

"If you feel unwell please do not go out in public unless seeking medical care,” Linda Vail, ICHD health officer, said in the release. “Face coverings do dramatically reduce the risk for transmission, but they are only one prevention measure. They need to be used appropriately and in conjunction with social distancing and good hand washing.”

Abiding by standard protocol, the buses that were used on the routes have been thoroughly disinfected. Contact tracing is still ongoing, though it is unknown where the individual originally contracted COVID-19.

“In addition to concern for our riders and drivers, we are concerned for the health of our rider who tested positive for COVID-19," Bradley T. Funkhouser, CATA chief executive officer, said in the release. "We hope for a speedy and full recovery. This circumstance underscores the importance of public health protocol, which urges those who are ill to stay home.”

Since the first cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Ingham County, Funkhouser said CATA has taken costly and painstaking measures in confidently prioritizing the safety, health and well-being of both their riders and employees.

"We are confident that the measures we implemented — with support and guidance from the Ingham County Health Department — will effectively protect those who may have been exposed to the virus, which includes 22 bus operators who have been or are being notified," Funkhouser said in the release. "While it is CATA’s responsibility to protect its riders and employees, it is also incumbent upon every member of the public to follow Health Department guidelines by appropriately wearing a face mask or face covering, and safely distancing themselves from others."

"If you are ill or have symptoms of COVID-19, please do not ride CATA; do not needlessly expose our riders and drivers to unsafe conditions, circumstances or confrontations," he said.

Similarly, Darche said that the outbreaks at Harper's Brewpub and Restaurant and Riverfront Animal Hospital are continuing to grow.

The case counts currently sit at 175 for the bar and 18 for the veterinary clinic.

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