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Oahu Transit Services to check temperatures of all city bus drivers after one falls ill with coronavirus

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, left, looks down while listening during a news conference today outside of Honolulu. Caldwell and city bus officials announced testing for all bus and Handi-Van drivers after one of them tested positive for CoVID-19.

    JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, left, looks down while listening during a news conference today outside of Honolulu. Caldwell and city bus officials announced testing for all bus and Handi-Van drivers after one of them tested positive for CoVID-19.

Oahu Transit Services plans to start thermal temperature screening all of its drivers Thursday after one of them tested positive for the coronavirus late last week.

Beginning Thursday, OTS, which runs TheBus and TheHandi-Van for the city, will screen drivers for fever, officials said today. They also plan to test all of the agency’s employees.

OTS president and general manager Roger Morton said that the driver did not follow protocol when he continued to drive for TheBus while feeling ill and awaiting test results for COVID-19 last week. Rather than discipline the driver, Morton said, he will call this a “learning moment” to serve as an example for other drivers.

Morton and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced the new testing initiatives this afternoon outside Honolulu Hale.

The operator, who has been driving for about five years with TheBus, drove several routes last week after becoming symptomatic on June 22, and took a coronavirus test on Friday which came back as positive on Saturday.

The city has made testing available to riders and drivers of TheBus who may have been exposed to the coronavirus by the infected driver.

Those without health insurance can get tested free at specified health centers. They include Kalihi-Palama Health Center (381-7009), Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services (791-9410), Koolauloa Health Center (293-9231) Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (691-3170) , Waimanalo Health Center (359-7948).

The company also provided the specific times and bus routes on which riders who may have been exposed to the coronavirus from the infected city bus driver. (See chart below.)

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