MTA: 23 employees test positive for COVID-19 coronavirus

R179 subway cars operating on the J line. ( Courtesy of MTA New York City Transit )

The MTA revealed that 23 employees across New York City Transit and the Long Island Rail Road have reportedly tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus as of March 18. 

“As we have said this is not unexpected as testing continues to ramp up, which will help contain the spread of the virus,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye in a statement. “We expect this number will only continue to increase.”

Foye said the MTA will work closely with the Department of Health to identify any workers who came into contact with infected employees and send them home to self-quarantine, provide testing and “immediately and aggressively disinfect the workplace.”

The MTA has already stepped up its cleaning efforts, disinfecting stations twice a day and cleaning the entire fleet of vehicles every 72 hours or less.

Since the coronavirus outbreak began in New York City, the MTA has seen a steep drop in ridership, with subway ridership down 68 percent, bus travel down 56 percent, Long Island Rail Road ridership down two-thirds and Metro-North ridership down a staggering 91 percent. 

MTA faces 'national crisis,' asks for federal bailout

The New York area's subways, buses, and commuter railroads have experienced a sharp drop in ridership during the coronavirus pandemic.

As of March 19, there are 3,615 positive cases of COVID-19 in New York City and 22 fatalities.

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