According to the Hood County Department of Public Health, a rideshare driver has tested positive for COVID-19. They are currently alerting riders and encouraging those who experienced contact with the driver in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to self-isolate and monitor their health closely.
The driver is the third person in Hood County confirmed with the illness. It’s suspected they contracted it through an infected rider. This is not the first time a rideshare driver has been diagnosed with COVID-19, as similar situations have transpired in places like New York City.
While it is currently unclear as to which company the driver works for, an Uber spokesperson reported they did not appear to be connected with the company. According to Dr. David E. Blocker with the Department of Public Health, “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.
In interviews with WFFA, other rideshare drivers expressed concerns about something like this happening. Melissa Burger, an Uber driver who acknowledged the situation is scary, cleans her car between each rider. She does this to adhere to company policy and to protect her family. According to Key Largo, a Lyft driver, in addition to safety concerns, the coronavirus outbreak has significantly reduced ridership. He estimates making between a quarter to a third of what he normally makes.
With the state of the pandemic across the nation, if a driver knows they are ill in any capacity, they should not be providing rideshare services. If they do, they are putting every passenger at risk of also getting sick. Then, those passengers could unknowingly spread the virus to someone else. Drivers who are not ill should take the proper precautions to sanitize their vehicles in between passengers.
To encourage ill Lyft and Uber drivers to stay home, both companies have established a system to financially support those who have an official COVID-19 diagnosis or have been put under individual quarantine by a public health agency.
At the Rideshare Law Group, we’re closely monitoring the impact COVID-19 has on the rideshare industry. Check back regularly for more information. If you or someone you know has been involved in a rideshare accident, our lawyers can evaluate your situation and provide you with the legal advice you need to get on a faster path to recovery. Contact us to learn more.