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METRO: Transparency about bus drivers who test positive for COVID-19

HOUSTON – Metro raised a few eyebrows with a press release on Tuesday that showed two bus drivers who tested positive for COVID-19 last drove routes in mid to late March.

The question is, why are we just learning about the positive test now if the drivers last drove in March?

The answer is, less sinister and more transparent than you may think, according to a METRO executive vice president.

“We are not sitting on information regarding positive cases. Period,” said Jerome Gray, who is also in charge of METRO communications.

Gray explained that METRO presented the information about the latest positive tests with virtually no delay. The organization learned about the results late Monday and issued a press release Tuesday.

Gray said that he believes the bus drivers tested positive recently, although he did not provide a date, and the positive test was well after the driver’s last contact with passengers.

METRO drivers typically put in for long stints of off, post-Rodeo time in Houston, and that appeared to be the case here, Gray surmised.

“I understand your policy is that as soon as we get it we push it out but what if fault is with employee not pushing it out to y’all?” reporter Joel Eisenbaum asked.

“I don’t think that would be the case, I guess that could happen but we’ve had a lot of good communication with our employees, and quite frankly all of our operators and all our employees want a safe working environment,” Gray said.