The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has deployed a “Temperature Brigade” consisting of medically trained personnel to check temperatures of heroic employees at 22 strategic locations as they report to work throughout the MTA service region, helping to reduce the spread of illnesses as the organization battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
“One of the best ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to ensure that people who are sick are staying home, out of the transit system and away from work,” said MTA Chief Safety Officer Patrick Warren. “Our ‘temperature brigade’ helps reduce risk for everyone, and they are among the thousands of behind-the-scenes heroes at the MTA working hard to fight this formidable pandemic. Our frontline employees are incredible, and we thank them for their courage and commitment to public service.”
The MTA Temperature Brigade is drawn from across the MTA, including NYC Transit safety and security personnel, LIRR fire marshals and Metro-North fire brigade, as well as 60 contract workers, all medically trained, deployed 24/7 to locations covering all MTA agencies. The Brigade, which is redeployed regularly based on needs, is currently at 22 critical locations.
Temperature Brigade members check all employees entering a work location using thermal scan thermometers on foreheads. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher is sent home and instructed to seek medical guidance and report back to the MTA.
The Brigade started at seven sites last month and has ramped up with more than 2,000 employees a day now being tested. The fever rate being found by the Brigade is extremely low – approximately 1 out of every 1,000 employees checked.
The current locations where the Temperature Brigade is deployed are:
- NYCT Rail Control Center
- NYCT Bus Command Center
- NYCT Power Control Center
- NYCT 130 Livingston
- NYCT PS248 Training Center
- NYCT West Farms Depot
- NYCT Queens Village Depot
- NYCT Grand Ave Depot
- NYCT Gun Hill Depot
- NYCT Jackie Gleason Depot
- NYCT College Point Depot
- NYCT JFK Depot
- NYCT Zerega Training Center
- Staten Island Railway Command
- LIRR Jamaica Command Center
- Penn Station Central Control (both Long Island Rail Road and Amtrak personnel)
- LIRR Maintenance of Equipment Crew Dispatching Office
- LIRR West Side Storage Yard
- Metro-North Grand Central Terminal
- Metro-North Croton Harmon Yard
- Bridges & Tunnels Operations Command Center
- MTA Police Department Command Center
The MTA has taken aggressive action to battle the COVID-19 pandemic since the early days of its arrival in New York. The organization has distributed millions of pieces of personal protective equipment, including 2.5 million pairs of gloves and nearly 500,000 masks, since March 01, 2020. In order to protect employees, the MTA also disregarded federal guidance and began handing out masks to all employees before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later issued new guidance recommending all Americans wear masks. The MTA continues its comprehensive disinfecting efforts systemwide with trains and buses being disinfected nightly, with the entire fleets for all agencies – more than 8,000 train cars and 5,000 buses – completed every 72 hours or less, since March 02, 2020. The MTA has also implemented rear-door boarding and eliminated cash transactions to prevent person-to-person contact to ensure the safety of operating employees. The health and safety of the MTA’s employees and customers continues to be the agency’s top priority.