The Metropolitan Transportation Authority introduced Tuesday it’s embarking on a first-in-the-nation testing program to check 1000’s of staff weekly to protect towards a second wave of the coronavirus.
MTA Chairman Patrick Foye stated the aim will likely be to check 15% of frontline staff weekly.
That will quantity to roughly 6,000 bus and subway staff, Transport Employees Union Native 100 President Tony Utano stated in an electronic mail. General, the nation’s largest public transit system has greater than 70,000 workers. Greater than 120 MTA workers have died from COVID-19 this yr.
“That is precisely the kind of screening program we have now been asking for and it is an enormous step ahead by way of defending TWU Native 100 members from a potential second wave,” Utano stated.
The testing will likely be accomplished at subject websites, together with bus depots and subway and practice yards, and at a number of medical evaluation and operational well being facilities. Outcomes will likely be accessible inside 24 to 48 hours.
The variety of constructive instances amongst MTA workers has ticked up barely in current weeks, MTA chief safety officer Patrick Warren stated Tuesday, although he added the variety of every day instances hasn’t risen above the low teenagers.
Subway ridership is lower than one-third of what it was pre-pandemic, with bus ridership barely higher. The MTA, which additionally serves Connecticut and Lengthy Island, is spending a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of on cleansing and disinfecting stations, buses and rail and subway automobiles, and even took the unprecedented step of shutting down in a single day subway service.