The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that it is taking all appropriate precautions in response to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China. While there is no confirmed case in New York, the MTA stands ready to act in the best interest of our employees and our eight million daily customers across NYC Transit, Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road.
The MTA is assessing contingency plans and materials used in the past to address health conditions should the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend further action by transportation networks. The agency is also actively working with State and federal health officials.
Extended hours are being offered for employees to receive free flu shots at any MTA Medical Assessment Center (MAC). Employees can also get flu shots at a pharmacy or from their health care provider.
“We take this issue very seriously, and are following the CDC’s lead while we further monitor the situation and evaluate contingency plans,” said Patrick Warren, MTA Chief Safety Officer. “In the meantime, we encourage everyone to take the standard precautions they would during any flu season.”
“We are in contact with health officials and will follow their guidance on this matter,” said Craig Cipriano, Acting President of MTA Bus Company and Senior Vice President of NYC Transit’s Department of Buses. “We will continue to communicate with our employees and customers as their safety is our top priority.”
“New York City Transit is continually keeping track of updates from health authorities and evaluating conditions across the subway system,” said Sally Librera, Senior Vice President for Subways, NYC Transit. “We encourage our employees and riders to take action to stay healthy during flu season.”
TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano and Secretary-Treasurer Earl Phillips met with MTA officials to discuss the coronavirus outbreak.
“We are monitoring the situation and paying close attention to the reports coming from experts at the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as State and city health departments,” said Utano. “We are following their lead and urge everyone to follow their prevention recommendations.”
The MTA is urging customers to follow the below recommendations from the CDC:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home while 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.