‘We’re transporting the virus for free’ -- DDOT driver speaks out about working conditions

Officials said eight DDOT employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and 133 others are under quarantine.
Officials said eight DDOT employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and 133 others are under quarantine.

DETROIT – With the virus spreading in Detroit -- a DDOT employee is speaking out.

Officials said eight DDOT employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and 133 others are under quarantine.

UPDATE April 4, 3 p.m. -- Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 14,225; Death toll now at 540

Reginald Glasgow said his colleagues and passengers are being put at risk.

“We are transporting the virus for free,” Glasgow said.

To protect drivers from coronavirus, passengers have been entering buses through the rear door and not come in contact with the driver.

The city isn’t charging fare during the outbreak and Glasgow said that brings in more passengers.

“If five of those people are coughing, everybody on there has been exposed,” Glasgow said. "They are going home to their families and they are being exposed. If they are on their way to work, those people are being exposed.”

Glasgow said he has to speak out. He was friends with his coworker, Jason Hargrove, who went viral on social media.

Hargrove was terrified of coronavirus after a passenger was coughing on his bus. He made a video urging people to take the outbreak seriously.

He died less than two weeks after making the video.

RELATED: Detroit bus driver, who was vocal about his job concerns, dies from COVID-19

“His death devastated me and especially the drivers," Glasgow said. "It rocked the drivers to the core.”

Drivers were given gloves and a mask and buses are being cleaned more often. When drivers walked off the job, Detroit city officials implemented the rear door/no fare policy.

RELATED: DDOT bus drivers refusing to drive routes with coronavirus concerns; service shut down

Glasgow said many riders are riding buses because it’s free and drivers are put at risk.

He’s urging Mayor Mike Duggan to stop bus services so there won’t be another death.

“One driver is too many," Glasgow said. "One driver is too many. We don’t need to lose any more.”

Anyone who believes they might have coronavirus should follow the CDC guidelines. Michigan.gov has a list of resources available to those concerned about COVID-19.

More information on coronavirus (COVID-19):

MORE: Here’s which Michigan counties have confirmed cases of coronavirus

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

MORE: Beaumont Health launches coronavirus hotline for patients with symptoms

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.

About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.