NEW YORK - This might be the first time 'spick and span' has ever been used to describe the New York City subway system, but that's the MTA's plan of action amid growing concerns over the novel coronavirus.
Every night workers will be giving the entire system a deep clean by using bleach to scrub down all 472 stations, 6,714 subway cars, and 5,700 buses. They'll do the same for Metro-North, LIRR, Staten Island Railway, and Access-A-Ride vans.
The goal is to sanitize anything any commuter might touch.
Dirt, filth, and rats are common problems across the subway system. The MTA says terminal car cleaners are equipped with buckets, mops, and disinfectants and are trained to dispose of human and biological waste.
The number of incidents over 'soiled' subway cars has risen sharply in the past two years.
New York lawmakers also approved giving the Department of Health an additional $40 million to bolster coronavirus preparations.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed New York's first case of COVID-19 on Monday. The 39-year-old healthcare worker is in isolation at her Manhattan home. Her husband is expected to test positive, too. A second New York case involves a lawyer who commutes to Manhattan.
New York City is ramping up testing. Officials are now processing about 1,000 tests a day.