Washington bus driver dies after contracting coronavirus

SEATTLE -- A King County Metro bus driver who worked in a highly-populated area that includes Seattle has died after contracting coronavirus.

Metro in a statement to The Seattle Times confirmed the death Thursday of 59-year-old Samina Hameed.

“Metro and our entire community are deeply thankful for their service,” Metro officials said. “Our thoughts are with their family, friends and colleagues, as we look to do everything we can to support them.”

Hameed had been a Metro employee since 2017. Her husband is also a Metro operator, and the two have three children. Hameed is the first Metro bus driver to die during the pandemic.

Transit is deemed an essential service, but drivers typically come in contact with the public and have an increased chance of contracting the virus.

Washington has at least 11,708 virus cases and 611 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally on Saturday morning.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks. But it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death for some people, especially older adults and people with existing health problems.