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After concerns raised by coworkers, DC Circulator driver dies from the coronavirus

A D.C. Circulator spokesperson confirmed the operator died on May 22.

WASHINGTON — A D.C. Circulator operator has died due to COVID-19 complications. The news comes a month after WUSA9 confirmed two operators had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Back in April, we spoke with Joyce Boone, a Circulator driver who did not want to return to work citing concerns about how the buses were being cleaned during the outbreak.

"I'm not going to work because I don't believe these people have cleaned the facilities enough… to keep me from contracting the virus," Boone told WUSA9. 

The D.C. Circulator operates under D.C.'s Department of Transportation, but it is staffed by a company called RATP Dev.

A D.C. Circulator spokesperson released the following statement confirming the drivers death:

RATP Dev USA, DDOT and the DC Circulator are aware of the unfortunate passing of one of our operators due to COVID-19 complications on May 22, 2020. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we have equipped operators and other frontline workers with PPE according to the WHO and CDC guidelines, and actively test operators who become symptomatic, requesting they self-isolate until safe to return to work. The safety of our employees, passengers, and the general public is always our number one priority. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the operator during this difficult, unprecedented time. We sincerely value all of our employees’ health.

The D.C. Circulator is currently operating on a reduced schedule with modified service.

The District suspended fares on all routes in March and requested passengers enter buses through the rear door.

What precautions should you take?

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

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