Coronavirus News: Family speaks out after loss of MTA bus driver to COVID-19

MINEOLA, Long Island (WABC) -- A family is speaking out about their devastating loss after the MTA announced it will pay $500,000 to families of workers who lost their lives to COVID-19.

Shaunette Fingall and her sister spoke out about their father, Wayne Fingall, who worked for the MTA for 26 years.

He was an upbeat and dedicated man who drove his bus through the streets of the Bronx while raising his six daughters.

"He would come home from waking up at 4:00 in the morning to go to work, come home at 11:00 and still have time to cook for us and spend time, you know," Shaunette said. "No matter how tired he might have been from work, he made sure that he had time for the family, as well."

His death from COVID-19 was sudden and shocking. His daughters said he loved his job.

Fingall was one of at least 59 MTA employees to die from coronavirus. More than 2,000 others have tested positive.

The agency announced Tuesday that the families of any MTA employee who dies from the virus will be eligible for $500,000 death benefit-no different than if the worker was killed on the job.

"It just shows us that, that they appreciate their workers for working for them and for so long," Shaunette said.

The MTA has distributed masks and gloves to its workers as it continues to run service across the transit system to ensure that essential workers can get to work.

The MTA chairman announced a partnership with Northwell Health to expand testing to workers who need it.

"Symptomatic transit transportation workers will receive priority access to evaluation care and testing at 52 Northwell locations across the MTA service region, with no out-of-pocket costs to our employees," MTA Chairman Pat Foye said.

The MTA estimates that some 400 of their workers are showing symptoms. Testing for the first 50 of them will begin on Friday.

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