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April 07, 2020

Three SEPTA workers die after testing positive for the coronavirus, union says

SEPTA Coronavirus
SEPTA workers death coronavirus Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

SEPTA depot workers Phillip Williams and Theodore Nixon have died after contracting the coronavirus, according to Willie Brown, President of TWU Local 234.

Three SEPTA workers have died of COVID-19, according to the transit workers union. 

Phillip Williams, a bus fueler at the Southern Bus Depot in South Philadelphia, and Theodore Nixon, an air conditioning specialist at the Elmwood Trolley Depot, are among the dozens of coronavirus victims in the Philly region, TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown confirmed to CBS3

Additionally, Michael Holt, a bus operator at the Midvale Depot, died on Monday night, Brown said. 

MORE: Chester County begins COVID-19 antibody testing – the first in Pennsylvania to do so

According to Brown, 46 SEPTA workers have tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Last week, SEPTA implemented a number of changes to boarding in order to protect drivers' safety. To limit contact with bus and trolley operators, SEPTA eliminated on-board fare payments, instituted rear-door boarding and capped the number of passengers who could board. It also is only using buses with protective barriers between drivers and riders. 

Brown said he was satisfied with the new measures, but said protective steps for the maintenance department still needed to be addressed. The union also requested additional supplies, including hand sanitizer, masks and gloves. SEPTA has said the lack of protective equipment stems from the national shortage in personal protective equipment.

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