As Missouri transit providers work to deliver essential service during the COVID-19 outbreak, they are pushing for help from the Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services for priority testing for COVID-19 for transit employees. Local transit agencies across the state are working tirelessly to provide as much service as possible during this pandemic, while also focusing on keeping operators and passengers safe. Enhanced safety precautions are paramount as drivers work to get essential personnel like healthcare workers and first responders to their jobs and ensure everyday citizens can gain access to food, medicine and other necessities. However, when operators may show symptoms of an illness, the impact to transit agencies has been ten-fold.
To ensure all 34 Missouri transit providers can continue to provide transit service to thousands, Missouri transit providers and MPTA are requesting COVID-19 priority testing for transit professionals in accordance with CDC priority testing guidelines (Priority 3). Doctors, nurses, first responders are a Priority 4 for testing, which is the highest priority level.
“The impact of COVID-19 is not only reducing ridership on transit to essential trips, it is reducing the ability of agencies to put service on the ground. Bi-State Development in St. Louis has had 14 positive COVID cases among its workforce, but the impact is far greater with more than 300 quarantined. Quicker results on the tests could help to alleviate large portions of operators from being quarantined. This action will enhance each provider’s current disease mitigation strategy and improve the ability to ensure operators’ health and workforce numbers to mitigate service disruptions throughout the state,” said Kim Cella, MPTA Executive Director.
Consider showing your support by contacting the Missouri Dept. of Health and Human Services at:
Dr. Randall Williams
Director Missouri Health and Senior Services
PO Box 570
Jefferson City, Mo. 65102-0570