Coronavirus News: MTA now disinfecting every subway station twice a day

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Thursday, March 12, 2020
Coronavirus News: MTA to start disinfecting every subway station twice a day
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The MTA is ramping up its disinfecting efforts amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and will start cleaning every station twice a day.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The MTA is ramping up its disinfecting efforts amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, and starting Wednesday, workers will disinfect every subway station twice a day - both day and night.

Up until this point, stations were being disinfected every night.

Additionally, all subway, LIRR, and Metro-North trains are being completely disinfected every 72 hours.

Frequently used surfaces in stations -- commonly referred to as touchpoints such as turnstiles, MetroCard and ticket vending machines, and handrails -- are also being disinfected twice daily.

The MTA continues to use EPA-approved and CDC-endorsed disinfectants.

Buses and trains that go through New Rochelle will still operate but will not go through the containment zone.

At Metro-North's New Rochelle station, crews will be performing a weekly deep cleaning, and a dedicated cleaning crew is now stationed there daily. New Rochelle has the largest cluster of COVID-19 cases in New York. Cleaning crews have redoubled efforts to clean major touchpoints at the station, cleaning once at night and again during the day to ensure commuters traveling from that station are as safe as possible.

"Our top priority is to ensure we are doing all we can to make the system as safe as possible for customers and employees," MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye said. "We are investigating new advanced disinfectant methods to build on the round-the-clock efforts our hard-working employees are undertaking to sanitize the system."

The MTA has continued to deploy health guidance PSAs at stations, on train cars and buses to complement customer messaging already deployed across 3,600 subway screens, 2,000 bus screens and at 84 subway station street entrances. The same messaging has also been deployed across 550 railroad screens. The MTA has stockpiles of hygienic supplies on hand and continues to procure cleaning materials while working hand-in-hand with the National Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the State Department of Health (DOH), and other government agencies.

Daily car disinfection of New York City Transit's 6,714 subway cars, Staten Island Railway's 64 cars, and Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North's over 1,100 cars each, continues so that no car in a fleet would go beyond 72 hours without a full cleaning. This cleaning cycle also includes the MTA's 5,700 buses and a fleet of 1,341 dedicated Access-A-Ride vans, which are fully disinfected daily.

Cumulatively since March 2, there have been 16,225 subway cars disinfected, as well as 293 Staten Island Railway cars, 16,049 NYC Transit and MTA buses, 11,045 Paratransit vehicles, 4,756 Long Island Rail Road train cars, and 3,635 Metro-North Railroad train cars.

There are 472 subway stations, 21 stations along Staten Island Railway, 124 stations and terminals along Long Island Rail Road and 124 stations throughout Metro-North's territory.

The MTA continues to work around the clock with the CDC, DOH and other agencies and has already taken several steps to provide information about the novel coronavirus to employees and customers.

The MTA continues to urge customers and employees to follow recommendations from the CDC:

--Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

--Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

--Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

--Stay home when you are sick.

--Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

--Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

--Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas should call ahead to their healthcare provider before presenting for treatment.

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