Three city workers report positive COVID-19 test results in March

BLOOMINGTON – One Bloomington Transit (BT) employee, one Parks and Recreation employee, and a Public Works employee each reported receiving a positive result of a COVID-19 viral test over the last week. None of the employees was a close contact of a previous COVID-19 case at the City.

  • The BT employee began experiencing symptoms on Wednesday, March 24 and received a positive result late Thursday, March 25. The employee had driven on BT’s Route 1 South for the two weeks prior to Tuesday, March 23, their last day at work. No close contacts were identified among the employee’s co-workers or passengers. (Close contact is defined by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as someone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset–or, for asymptomatic clients, two days prior to positive specimen collection–until the time the patient is isolated.) 

Currently, BT drivers are separated from passengers by a plexiglass shield; passengers ride fare-free to limit contact and queuing; and all vehicles are cleaned twice daily using special disinfecting equipment. Passengers board through the rear doors of buses except in cases of passengers in wheelchairs or other mobility devices, and anyone who needs the use of the front door kneeling feature.

  • The Parks and Recreation employee, who works at the Twin Lakes Recreation Center, began experiencing symptoms on Tuesday, March 23 and received a positive test result on Saturday, March 27. Co-workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19 as close contacts of this employee have been identified and notified. No close contacts were identified among the general public. Cleaning protocols of shared workspace, equipment, and vehicles the employee used have been completed.  
  • The Public Works employee, who works in the Street Division, began experiencing symptoms on Saturday, March 27 and received a positive result Wednesday, March 31.  No close contacts were identified among the employee’s co-workers or the general public. Cleaning protocols of vehicles, equipment, and shared workspace the employee used have been completed.  

Since the start of the pandemic, 75 positive COVID-19 viral test results have been reported by City workers, including those employed by the municipal corporations that operate the water utility (City of Bloomington Utilities) and transit system (BT) and public housing (Bloomington Housing Authority).

Sixteen total cases were reported during the eight months from March through October 2020. That monthly rate rose more than eight-fold in November, when 17 cases were reported within the single month, and rose another 29 percent in December (22 cases). January saw the monthly rate decline 40 percent to 13 positive cases; February’s four employee cases represented a 69 percent decline from January’s monthly rate; and these three cases reported by employees in March mark a subsequent 25 percent decline.

For four weeks between February 25 and March 25, City workers reported no new COVID-19 cases. Data about COVID-19 cases among City employees, in the county, the state, and the nation are presented on this online dashboard

Other City-related updates about the COVID-19 pandemic are assembled here.  

The City of Bloomington is committed to sharing information about how its operations and workforce are affected by this public health emergency and will continue to provide weekly updates about confirmed cases among staff while protecting employees’ privacy.