4J bus driver tests positive for coronavirus

Officials say 240 families have been notified of the results.

Posted: Mar 21, 2020 4:06 PM
Updated: May 3, 2021 1:19 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Public health officials say the third case of coronavirus in Lane County is a bus driver for the 4J school district. 

The bus driver is a man in his 50s who lives in the Eugene-Springfield area, according to Jason Davis, spokesman for the health department. Davis says the case is believed to be travel related. The man is healthy, medically stable and is resting in isolation at his home.

The man traveled between Feb. 27 and March 3, Davis said. When he returned, he experienced a fever that persisted until March 6 along with a phlegmy cough. The cough continued and his fever intermittently returned over the next 10 days.

The bus driver went to work on March 10 and 11, where he had minimal contact with more than 200 elementary and middle-school aged children, officials said. 

Officials do not consider the students at-risk because they did not meet exposure guidelines, which is considered an hour or more of close contact within six feet.

The Eugene School District 4J said he drove a small number of school bus routes on two days last week. 

Today, Davis said that even though coronavirus can be spread on surfaces, bus drivers primarily interact with surfaces near the driver's seat and not where students sit on the bus.

Lane County Public Health has contacted over 240 4J parents since the driver's exposure was announced on Thursday. They are now recommending that parents and students who were contacted spend an additional four days in isolation. Officials will continue to reach out to parents.

The driver did not have contact with other 4J employees. If parents notice coronavirus symptoms in their students, they should call their medical provider who will notify public health officials if necessary.

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