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Coronavirus: Bus drivers scared to work in ‘a moving Petri dish’

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Bus drivers provide an essential service, but many say they’re worried about being exposed to COVID-19 — and afraid to speak publicly for fear of losing their jobs.

“They went from being concerned to downright scared to come into work,” says William Howard, union representative for Broward county bus drivers. “To the best of my knowledge, we have approximately four operators who have tested positive. I know at least seven or eight that are waiting on test results.

“I know there’s HIPAA and ADA laws. All I am requesting is at least send a letter or call an employee and say, listen, there’s a strong possibility you might have been contaminated by a fellow employee.”

Some drivers have texted Local 10 News, saying they’re not being given safety equipment. Others say they’ve had to buy or make their own masks.

A spokesperson from Broward County transit says masks have been ordered and buses are being sanitized, which could be seen here in Fort Lauderdale.

Messages left with county officials to find out more about those reports of positive COVID-19 cases among drivers have not yet been returned.

“I know we can’t protect ourselves 100 percent,” Howard said. “But you gotta give us something. We’re in a moving Petri dish.”

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