The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that it has joined forces with Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care to provide prioritized COVID-19 testing to symptomatic frontline MTA workers at its urgent care facilities throughout the New York metropolitan region. The new partnership with the state’s largest healthcare provider marks the latest in a series of aggressive health and safety measures taken by the MTA to protect its vital frontline workforce and limit the spread of the COVID-19 at no cost to MTA employees.
Under the new partnership, Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care will provide priority testing to symptomatic transportation workers a rate of up to 50 tests per day or 350 per week. The partnership between the MTA and Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care is similar to the partnership the organization has with the NYPD and FDNY. The agreement expands the range of options available to MTA employees, who are still able to go to their primary care physician or other medical provider at no cost to the employee.
“We remain relentlessly committed to doing everything we possibly can to keep our frontline workers safe,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye. “We will continue working to identify any and all solutions we can deploy to help protect our employees. The region simply cannot function without the essential and heroic workers of this pandemic.”
“As the largest employer of healthcare workers in the state, we understand how vital it is to have a functioning mass transit system during this time of unprecedented challenges,” said Northwell Health President and CEO Michael J. Dowling. “Untold numbers of our own employees depend on mass transit to get to work each day. Our relationship with the MTA is a mutually essential one and we look forward to partnering together in the days and weeks to come to make sure that MTA workers can get tested at our more than 50 urgent care locations around the region.”
Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care centers throughout the city, Long Island and Westchester County began testing vital first responders from city agencies this week. Northwell Health-GoHealth will be reaching out to MTA workers who have identified themselves as symptomatic to the MTA COVID-19 hotline and arranging appointments for a range of comprehensive medical exams and diagnostic tests, including testing for COVID-19 beginning Friday, April 17, 2020.
Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care locations are located at 52 locations throughout the region and are open from 08:00 a.m. to 08:00 p.m. on weekdays and 09:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. on weekends. For more information, please visit here.
The MTA has been a national leader among transportation agencies in taking 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 2.7 million pairs of gloves and nearly 750,000 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 MTA launched the nation-leading “Temperature Brigade” on March 24 and later expanded the force to 22 locations testing tens of thousands of employees across New York City Transit, Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road. The MTA is also working to install plexiglass barriers at work locations across all 28 bus depots to further protect employees.
The health and safety of the MTA’s employees and customers continues to be the agency’s top priority.