A MARTA employee reported testing positive for the coronavirus but hasn’t worked since March 10. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MARTA)

MARTA employee reports testing positive for coronavirus

A MARTA employee reported testing positive for the coronavirus, the agency confirmed.

MARTA told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution late Tuesday it has not been able to independently confirm the employee’s test results, and it declined to provide the employee’s role at the transit agency. But it said the employee had not been at work since March 10.

The agency also confirmed a second employee reported tested positive for the disease. But a doctor later determined the employee did not have COVID 19 and cleared the employee for return to work.

“We were prepared for this eventuality and enacted our response plan immediately upon notification,” the agency said in a statement to the newspaper late Tuesday. “MARTA has gone to great lengths to ensure the safety of employees and customers during this unprecedented time, understanding that public transit is an essential service.”

MARTA said it began explaining federal guidelines for preventing the spread of the disease to its employees last month.

MARTA said it began requiring non-essential employees to telework earlier this month. It says it’s conducting all meetings by phone and has prohibited any gathering of more than 10 people.

Among other things, it also has dispensed hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes that employees can use to clean their work areas.

On Thursday MARTA will begin boarding most passengers only from the rear door of buses to separate passengers from bus drivers. Because farebox equipment is at the front door, the agency will suspend fare payments on buses.

It also will close public restrooms at some stations beginning Thursday.

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