DALLAS — Health officials in Hood County alerted riders after a rideshare driver tested positive for COVID-19. Health officials believe the person was exposed through an infected rider somewhere in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
It’s unclear which company the driver worked for, but an Uber spokesperson told WFAA, the report does not appear to be connected to the company.
“The rideshare company was notified by the driver as soon as public health authorities were aware, and the rideshare company is working with local public health organizations,” said Dr. David E. Blocker, of the Hood County Department of Public Health.
The driver’s past riders have been notified to provide isolation precautions and medical follow-up if needed, Blocker said.
The news spread to other drivers who told WFAA, they’d worried something like this would happen.
“It is scary,” said Melissa Burger, Uber driver. “It does concern me.”
Burger cleans her car between each rider, because of company policy and to protect her family.
“I just want to make sure I don’t take anything home to my children,” Burger said.
In addition to safety concerns, the COVID-19 outbreak has drastically reduced ridership, drivers told WFAA.
“I’m going day to day,” said Key Largo, Lyft driver.
His name usually brings a smile to riders.
“Just like the Florida island,” Largo said.
Lately, however, smiles are hard to come by, with fewer riders and longer hours, as local communities have issued shelter-in-place orders during the coronavirus outbreak.
“I’ll spend all day now, maybe 10 hours and I’ll only make between a quarter to a third of what I normally make,” Largo said. “I hope this is over soon.”
Rideshare companies have taken steps to assist drivers and protect riders.
More on WFAA:
- Live COVID-19 updates: U.S. Postal Service says 2 North Texas employees have tested positive for COVID-19
- Trump: No quarantine, but 'strong Travel Advisory' for Connecticut, New York, New Jersey
- LIST: Companies that are hiring and resources for those who have lost their job
- Dallas bed bugs expert says he treats 5 to 10 rideshare vehicles per week