Lansing bus service listed as potential coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure site

Two recent CATA bus passengers have tested positive for COVID-19

LANSING, Mich. – Two unrelated people who recently rode CATA buses in Lansing have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), health officials announced Friday.

The two individuals wore face coverings while riding the bus but transmission of the virus is still possible, officials said.

Health officials believe one individual contracted the virus from their job and the other’s infection is tied to a separate COVID-19 outbreak in a different county.

Ingham County health officials listed the following dates, CATA bus routes and times for potential COVID-19 exposure to the community:

Tuesday, June 30

  • Routes 3, 1 and 20
    • 8:30 a.m.–10 a.m.
  • Routes 3 and 1
    • Noon–1 p.m.
  • Routes 3, 1 and 20
    • 3 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Routes 1 and 12
    • 7 p.m.–8 p.m.

Wednesday, July 1

  • Routes 3 and 1
    • Noon–1 p.m.
  • Routes 1 and 12
    • 7 p.m.–8 p.m.

Thursday, July 2

  • Route 14
    • 7:15 a.m.
  • Routes 14 and 1
    • Noon–1 p.m.

Friday, July 3

  • Routes 3 and 1
    • Noon–1 p.m.
  • Routes 1 and 12
    • 7 p.m.–8 p.m.

Passengers who rode a CATA bus during the exposure periods listed above are asked to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19, which may develop up to 14 days after exposure.

If symptoms arise, individuals are asked to seek immediate COVID-19 testing and isolate themselves while waiting for results. Health officials remind the public that asymptomatic infections do occur and they can be contagious.

Individuals interested in COVID-19 testing can contact their primary care physician or find a no-cost COVID-19 testing site in Michigan online here.

“If you feel unwell please do not go out in public unless seeking medical care,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “Face coverings do dramatically reduce the risk for transmission, but they are only one prevention measure. They need to be used appropriately and in conjunction with social distancing and good hand washing.”

The Ingham County Health Department is conducting contact tracing of the two infected individuals, who reportedly rode the CATA buses several days before they were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Health officials say CATA employees disinfect all vehicles throughout the day and at the end of each day to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 cases are rising across Michigan counties, and at least two outbreaks have been linked to locations in Ingham County.

At least 138 COVID-19 cases have been linked to an outbreak at Harper’s Restaurant and Brew Pub in East Lansing, and at least three COVID-19 cases are linked to a veterinary clinic in Lansing -- with more infections suspected.

The state of Michigan is reporting a total of 68,948 COVID-19 cases and 6,067 deaths as of July 11. Cases are currently increasing at a more rapid rate than in previous weeks -- in Michigan and across the country.

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?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

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.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

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 COVID-19 here.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.