COOS BAY — Five people at the First Student school bus facility in Empire have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the state's weekly report.

The cases make up the county's latest workplace outbreak of the virus as case numbers continue to skyrocket in the county and across the country.

Only one of the individuals with the virus was in contact with students, according to Coos Bay School District superintendent Bryan Trendell. A group of fewer than 10 students from one bus route have begun to quarantine following the exposure, Trendell said. 

A spokesperson for First Student, a national company which the school district contracts to provide transportation services, declined to share information about the individuals involved in the outbreak, other than to say that they are also in quarantine.

"We also have been in contact with all employees to reinforce appropriate safety, social distancing and cleanliness behaviors, both at our location and outside of the workplace," Jen Biddinger, a company spokesperson, wrote in an email.

According to the state's data, the five cases were reported between Nov. 10 and 12.

The district also reported an additional case at Madison Elementary and one in the district office Monday, though none of those cases have been linked to one another.

"We have not had any cases of spread within our schools and our protocols have worked as planned to isolate the cases and not contribute to the spread," Trendell wrote in a message to students and families Monday.

The First Student outbreak is the second workplace outbreak reported in the county this month, joining a six-case outbreak at Roseburg Forest Products in Coquille that occurred earlier in the month.

Another school-related case was identified this week at Hillcrest Elementary in North Bend, according to Coos Health & Wellness. One student is a presumptive positive case of the virus, joining two staff members reported to have the virus.

Reporter Zack Demars can be reached at


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