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DASH bus driver dies from COVID-19

This weekend, Alexandria bus network DASH suffered its first death from COVID-19.

The bus service is not releasing the victim’s name, but marketing and communications manager Whitney Code said the victim was a bus driver.

“It is with profound sadness that we mourn the passing of one of our DASH bus operators due to complications related to COVID-19,” the Alexandria bus company said. “The operator’s last day at work was June 21. We learned the employee tested positive of COVID-19 on June 23. We are devastated by this loss and extend our deepest condolences to the family.”

DASH has had 30 reported cases — 29 DASH employees contracted COVID-19 and and one contractor.

Code said the bus driver died on Saturday, June 26.

“In response to this case, we have completed a contact tracing investigation with the Alexandria Health Department and identified no close contact,” DASH said in the press release. “In an abundance of caution, full disinfection of all equipment was performed.”

The city is hovering at around 59% of its residents being fully vaccinated, but has struggled to close the gap to its goals of getting 80% of the city vaccinated.

DASH said that, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, all passengers and operators on the bus service must wear masks.

“The CDC continues to require that all passengers and operators wear masks on public transportation and DASH provides masks as needed to protect our community,” the press release said. “We remain committed to slowing the spread of the virus by actively communicating our policy to passengers and encouraging all DASH employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.”

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