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MARTA employee dies from COVID-19

COVID-19 Decatur Metro ATL

MARTA employee dies from COVID-19

A MARTA train passes over the mural at the corner of Dekalb Ave. and Arizona Ave. on Thursday, April 17, 2014. File Photo by Jonathan Phillips
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Decatur, GA – MARTA reports that a station manager has died from COVID-19.

The Transit Authority identified the employee as Derrick Ferguson, 53. He’s worked for MARTA since 2016 and his last day of work was April 10. He died on April 20. He worked at the Decatur station.

“In accordance with our reporting and notification protocol, the four co-workers with whom he had contact at the time of his diagnosis were notified and instructed to self-quarantine,” a spokesperson for MARTA said.

According to MARTA, 22 employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Three have recovered, three are in the hospital and 15 are recovering at home.

CEO Jeffrey Parker said coronavirus is “taking an immense toll” on transit agencies across the country.

“Despite the risks, brave employees such as Mr. Ferguson show up to work every day to make sure we can continue providing essential transit during this health crisis,” Parker said. “We honor his dedication and extend our deepest condolences to his family.”

MARTA has made grief counseling available to Ferguson’s coworkers.

Parker also sent the following note to MARTA employees:

Dear MARTA Family:

With a heavy heart, I write today to inform you of the passing of Mr. Derrick Ferguson, a MARTA station maintainer. Mr. Ferguson has been a member of the MARTA family since December 2016. Mr. Ferguson, 53 years old, passed away from complications related to COVID-19.

I have reached out to Mr. Ferguson’s daughter and nephew to relay our heartfelt condolences and offer our support for the Ferguson family. Mr. Ferguson’s partner, Ruth Hooker, also a MARTA employee, has also been diagnosed with COVID-19. She is recovering at home.

Given the public health crisis and declared state of emergency in which our employees are operating, I have determined that MARTA will provide a life insurance supplement of $5,000 to defray funeral expenses for any employee that dies as a result of COVID-19. I have asked our Human Resources department to organize an online meeting through our Emergency Assistance Program where David Springstead and I can join Mr. Ferguson’s co-workers in remembering him.

As of today, MARTA has 22 positive COVID-19 diagnoses. Of those employees, 3 have recovered, 3 are in the hospital and 15 are recovering at home. The complete dashboard can be found here.

I appreciate the resilience and sense of purpose you show day after day. It is tough to be an essential worker in times like these, but we are on the job to make sure other frontline workers can get to theirs. Thank you.

– Jeffrey Parker

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