Coronavirus Update New York City: NYC transit union testing identifies 20 asymptomatic COVID positive workers

Coronavirus update for NYC

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Episode 3: New York on Pause
The novel coronavirus was just starting to show its teeth in New York and New Jersey as Winter turned to Spring. People were dying already, but we were only starting to feel the wave of death, anguish, and need that was heading our way.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Transport Workers Union in New York City announced Tuesday 20 workers tested positive for COVID-19. Those workers were symptom-free.

As a result, the workers managed to get medical attention and quarantine themselves.

Officials say testing continues to take place at bus and subway locations across the system to impede the spread.

"This is exactly why we asked for this testing and screening program - to identify transit workers with the virus before they show symptoms like fever and fatigue," TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano said. "This enables our members to get medical attention more quickly, and isolate themselves at home, so they don't inadvertently pass the virus to others on the job or in their community."

TWU Local 100 strongly advocated for the workforce screening initiative, starting with the release of our 10-Point Plan for a Re-Opened NYC in the spring. It is an ongoing program, and the schedule of locations is updated weekly on the MTA portal.

MORE: Here's what each COVID zone in New York means:

Since late October, 3,027 workers have been tested on Transit property with 20 positive results. Another 278 visited a Northwell Urgent Care center for testing, 18 tested positive.

Officials say transit workers are testing positive for COVID-19 at a lower rate than the citywide average, which has been at approximately 3%. The rate for workers who were tested at work is .66 percent. The positivity rate for transit workers, including the Northwell testing, is approximately 1%.

"We are working hard to fight this virus," Utano said. "The vice presidents and officers are constantly monitoring the situation and pushing the MTA to do more. We have to remain vigilant and work together, and that includes wearing your masks, especially when indoors."

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