The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) issued an update on the precautions taken by the agency in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). While there is no confirmed case in New York, the MTA has already taken a number of steps to provide information about the novel coronavirus to our employees and our eight million daily customers across NYC Transit, Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road.
The MTA has deployed health guidance in English, Chinese, Spanish, Russian and Korean across the system on 3,600 subway screens, 2,000 bus screens and at 84 subway station street entrances. The same messaging is also being deployed across our railroads.
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.
“The MTA has protocols in place for any emergency scenario, from a public health crisis to an extreme weather event,” said Patrick Warren, MTA Chief Safety Officer. “We are regularly monitoring the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus with the utmost seriousness at the direction of federal and state health authorities.”
In the meantime, the MTA is urging customers and employees to follow the below 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.
Coronavirus is an umbrella term for a host of mild to moderate illnesses including the common cold. Most people get infected with one or more of these viruses at some point in their lives. These illnesses should not be confused with COVID-19.