An ECAT employee has tested positive for COVID-19. ECAT management was notified by the employee on Tuesday, June 16 at 3:30 p.m. This driver drove on Saturday, June 13 for the first time since April 8. Steps are being taken to notify employees.
Our priority remains the safety and health of our employees and passengers. The break room was fogged. Door handles are wiped down daily and there continues to be plenty of PPE and cleaning supplies. Buses are disinfected every night and ECAT operators are required to wear masks while driving buses.
In conjunction with ECAT management, the Florida Department of Health will evaluate the ECAT facility for testing space today, and testing will be available Thursday and Friday on site for employees. If any employees have concerns, the county strongly encourages them to get tested at the ECAT facility or one of the sites listed on the county COVID-19 web page.
Since the start of the pandemic, ECAT implemented the following safety measures:
- ECAT’s Fleet Maintenance team makes sure our vehicles and facilities are sanitary and sanitizer is available at the ECAT Passenger Facility and Administrative Office.
- ECAT began reducing service with a modified schedule on March 23, by running service every two hours.
- Social distancing is encouraged with a limit of 10 passengers per vehicle. Markers inside each bus indicate staggered social distance seating and signage asks to refrain from touching objects inside the bus when possible.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, hand sanitizer and gloves is available to employees. Frequency of cleaning and disinfecting was increased at the ECAT Facility and on the buses.
- ECAT presented recommendation to the BOCC to initiate rear door boarding of passengers on April 6 to further encourage social distancing. The BOCC voted to also temporarily suspend fare collection for passengers of ECAT bus services which provides additional separation between the operator and the passengers—and between passengers, placing passengers behind the accessibility-reserved seating area. This provided adequate time to notify the public and employees about this change. ADA accessible seating space near the front of the bus is reserved for individuals in mobility devices, individuals in need of special assistance and families with children in strollers. These changes provide some separation between the operator and the passengers, and between passengers.
- Beginning Monday, June 1, passengers were encouraged to wear face masks while onboard Escambia County Area Transit buses and at ECAT shelters and facilities. If a rider does not already have a mask, ECAT employees will offer a mask to the passenger during the month of June to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. ECAT operators will also continue to wear masks. Also beginning June 1, ECAT employees and operators have their temperature taken when they arrive to work as a precaution. ECAT continues to implement safety measures such as limiting ridership to 10 bus passengers and increased bus and facility cleanings. ECAT lobby areas are open at 25% occupancy (two people in the front lobby and eight people in the customer service area). Beach trolleys, which began service, Memorial Day Weekend, have seating spaced to accommodate social distancing.
- ECAT distributed CDC hand-washing posters and other coronavirus preventative information to employees. Public Information about Coronavirus Prevention was also posted on ECAT buses, at the transfer facility, and on ECAT’s website.
- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) signed by the President became effective on April 1, which included the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion. This information was distributed and reviewed with employees.