ST. PETERSBURG — Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority announced July 9 that a sixth bus operator has tested positive for COVID-19.

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

PSTA does not believe any passengers came in contact with the driver, who remained socially distant from all passengers. However, anyone who feels like they experience symptoms should seek medical advice.

The operator is currently under treatment.

PSTA requires riders to wear protective face coverings while riding and to use transit for essential travel only. Essential travel means taking trips to work, hospitals, health care providers, pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, food distribution centers, schools, to provide care for family members and other similar destinations.

In the middle of March, PSTA announced it is enforcing rear-door boarding only, except for those with mobility devices. Rear-door boarding and temporarily going fare-free reduces crowding at the farebox and limits exposure between passengers and bus operators.

In addition, bus operators have the discretion to limit the number of riders on their bus to no more than 12 people at a given time. PSTA is supplying bus operators with gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant.

Including non-public facing employees, PSTA has 12 employees who have tested positive for the COVID-19.

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