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Detroit bus driver dies of COVID-19 after ranting about passenger who openly coughed

Driver dies of COVID-19 weeks after complaining of passenger’s cough
WATCH: A Detroit bus driver who went live on Facebook two weeks ago to complain about a coughing bus rider has died of Covid-19.

A Detroit bus driver has died of COVID-19 just two weeks after ranting about a passenger openly coughing.

Jason Hargrove posted a video on Facebook on March 21 lamenting over one of his passengers who wasn’t following the proper pandemic protocol of covering coughs.

Mayor Mike Duggan and the Amalgamated Transit Union confirmed his death on Thursday, NBC News reports.

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“We (are) out here as public workers doing our job, trying to make an honest living to take care of our families,” he says in the video. “But for you to get on the bus and stand on the bus and cough several times without covering up your mouth, and you know that we in the middle of a pandemic, that lets me know that some folks don’t care.”

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“It’s folks dying out here. I’m mad right about now because that s–t was uncalled for. And I’m trying to be the professional that they want me to be, so I kept my mouth closed,” he continued in the four-minute video.

“I feel violated. I feel violated for the folks that were on the bus when this happened.”

Saskatchewan people stepping up to support and help others during coronavirus pandemic
Saskatchewan people stepping up to support and help others during coronavirus pandemic

He urged others to take social distancing seriously during this time, saying: “This is real.”

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Though it’s not known if Hargrove contracted the virus from the woman who coughed in his bus, the situation still serves as a reminder to everyone to take the necessary steps to protect each other.

“He knew his life was being put in jeopardy, even though he was going to work for the citizens of Detroit every day, by somebody who just didn’t care. By somebody who didn’t take this seriously,” Duggan said during a Thursday news conference. “And now he’s gone.”

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On March 17, bus service was cancelled almost entirely as drivers called in sick to take a stand against the city, which they believed was not doing enough to protect its workers, Fox2 reports.

“Every time I see images of a group of people still clustering in this city or this country, I think about the Jason Hargroves on the buses; I think about the cops; I think about the nurses and the doctors in the hospitals who are going to work for you every single day, and for you not to honour the social distancing request, you’re putting really good people like Jason Hargrove’s lives on the line,” Duggan continued.

“I hope the people of this city and the people of this country will watch his video and listen to his words because it’s the message this country needs to hear.”

Michigan is currently battling more than 10,500 cases of COVID-19.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

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COVID-19: Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield talks about self-isolation
COVID-19: Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield talks about self-isolation

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

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