CINCINNATI — Five Cincinnati Metro administrative employees tested positive for COVID-19 within the last week, prompting the bus system's Downtown office to close for the next two weeks.
Metro spokeswoman Brandy Jones said the administrative office closure will not impact Metro bus service, which returned to normal service levels earlier this summer after weeks of reduced service caused by plummeting ridership during the pandemic. Jones added that administrative employees -- which number around 75 -- will continue to work from home over the next two weeks.
Jones said the decision to close the office was made out of an "overabundance of caution" after an office employee reported experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms last week. In the following days, contact tracing and other employees making the decision to get tested revealed four other office employees were carrying the virus, Jones said.
Jones could not confirm any direct connection between the five cases.
The closure only impacted the transit system's administrative offices, Jones said. Metro also operates out of two other facilities, one in Bond Hill and another in Queensgate. Jones said Metro will use the two-week office closure to fully clean and sanitize employees' workspaces before they return.
More than 10 Metro bus operators have reported symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, the agency has reported.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story indicated that more than 10 Metro bus riders have reported symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19. This story has been corrected to reflect that at least 10 Metro bus operators have reported symptoms or tested positive. WCPO regrets the error.