What to Know
- New York has confirmed the state's first positive test of the new virus that has sickened tens of thousands of people across the globe
- A statement from Gov. Cuomo's office says a woman in her late 30s contracted the virus while traveling in Iran
- She is a health care worker, as is her husband; both are isolated at their home in Manhattan
The MTA is stepping up its cleaning efforts in order to ensure that the novel coronavirus does not get spread on NYC's public transportation.
Transit workers will disinfect subway turnstiles, station handrails, MetroCard and ticket vending machines daily and other frequently used parts of the system, according to a statement from Transport Workers Union President Tony Utano.
The deep clean extends to Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North and Access-A-Ride services as well. In addition to the daily cleaning, the MTA says its full fleet of subway trains and buses will undergo sanitization every 72 hours.
"While there has been only one confirmed case of coronavirus in New York and it did not involve the mass transit system, we are committed to doing everything we can to keep in front of the situation and protect our customers and employees,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye.
The enhanced cleaning regimens include all 472 subway stations, 21 Staten Island Railway stations, 124 LIRR terminals and stations, and 101 Metro-North stations.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday that there would be new cleaning protocols for public transportation and schools in the coming days and weeks, saying people shouldn't be alarmed if they smell bleach more often.
The deep clean on the widely used surfaces comes after a 39-year-old Manhattan woman tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first confirmed case in the city and in the tri-state area. Since then, another man in Westchester, who works in Manhattan, has tested positive for the virus and is hospitalized in the city. The 50-year-old lawyer became the first apparent instance of community spread in the city.