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Coronavirus: Passenger with COVID-19 was on GO bus from Pearson to Hamilton, says Metrolinx

Metrolinx says Hamilton Public Health reached out to the transit agency after a passenger who tested positive for the new coronavirus had caught a ride on a bus going to Hamilton from Pearson International Airport on March 12, 2020.
Metrolinx says Hamilton Public Health reached out to the transit agency after a passenger who tested positive for the new coronavirus had caught a ride on a bus going to Hamilton from Pearson International Airport on March 12, 2020. Stephen C. Host / File / The Canadian Press

A GO Transit driver is self-isolating after the transit agency reported that someone on a bus from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19.

The affected bus was Route 40 from Richmond Hill Centre, which departed just after 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, bound for Hamilton GO Centre via Pearson International Airport.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — GO Transit, UP Express reducing service amid anticipated ridership drop

Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins told Global News the bus driver was quizzed by health officials after the infected passenger checked into a health clinic in Hamilton and tested positive for COVID-19.

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“We were contacted by Hamilton Public Health (HPH) late yesterday (March 18) to say that someone that rode a bus has tested positive and they would like to speak to our bus driver,” Aikins said.

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Aikins says HPH asked the driver information about the trip, including how many people were on the bus and whether he had any interaction with the person in question, to determine the risk level.

“Based on the information with the customer who tested positive, they (HPH) determined that the risk was low and the only person they needed to speak to was the bus driver,” Aikins said.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Hamilton-Toronto GO Transit service impacted amid anticipated ridership drop

Aikins says GO Transit keeps track of registered Presto passengers but that HPH did not request the passenger list of the bus in question.

GO Transit confirmed the bus was taken out of service for a time and thoroughly disinfected but did not specify whether it has returned to service.

Aikins says the incident has not affected any service between Richmond Hill, Pearson and Hamilton GO.

She also said concerned passengers should reach out to Hamilton Public Health with any further concerns about the incident.

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Hamilton Public Health has not yet released details on two new COVID-19 positive tests reported Thursday or whether they are connected to the GO bus incident.

Hamilton now has 21 positive tests for COVID-19,  according to the province.  Ontario’s public health ministry says the two new cases were connected to travel from the U.S.