By Taylor Klocke

How a CTAA Member in N.H. Overcame a Driver Testing Positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

March 31, 2020

Advance Transit is a CTAA member providing rural transit services in New Hampshire and Vermont. A driver with Advance Transit recently tested positive for COVID-19. We spoke with Van Chesnut, General Manager at Advance Transit, to learn how his system is moving forward with this new challenge.

He underscored the situation by stating how quickly it became serious, “It happened so fast and suddenly you’re forced to make so many decisions quickly.” He then discussed the next steps he took, immediately following the moment he heard of the positive test. He informed his local and state Departments of Health and Human Services, who then started a contact tracing exercise with both riders and staff. He noted it was imperative their passenger manifests were in good order for this step to be effective. He stressed how important it was to maintain regular and transparent communication with your employees. As an aside, he mentioned that agencies should come up with telework practices, for those employees who are able to do so.

He emphasized how critical it is that agencies do drills on this kind of situation and stressed the importance of knowing who to contact at the local and state Departments of Health and Human Services, should this happen to one of your employees. He said, “It’s important to have decisions made prior to a positive test result on staff protocols,” specifically regarding sick leave, length of sick leave and possible insurance coverage.

The conversation ended with him stating what we believe most General Managers are feeling, “I’m hoping to be able to say, after all this is done, that I did my best for my staff and my passengers.”

CTAA has developed best practices on how to prepare in advance for employee health and safety (PDF), as well as what to do in the event one of your employees have tested positive for COVID-19 (PDF).

This blog post is part of our latest CTR blog series highlighting the ways in which CTAA members are managing operations under COVID-19. Want to share your COVID-19 experiences with us? Email Taylor Klocke (klocke@ctaa.org).

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The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and its members believe that mobility is a basic human right. From work and education to life-sustaining health care and human services programs to shopping and visiting with family and friends, mobility directly impacts quality of life.