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What MTA is doing to help fight the spread of coronavirus on public transit – NBC New York


What you need to know

  • New York has confirmed the first positive test for the state of the new virus that has made tens of thousands of people sick worldwide
  • A statement from Governor Cuomo's office indicates that a woman in her late 30s contracted the virus during a trip to Iran
  • She is a health worker, just like her husband; the two are isolated at home in Manhattan

MTA is stepping up its cleanup efforts to make sure the new coronavirus doesn't spread on New York's public transportation.

Every 72 hours, transit workers will disinfect the metro trains and buses, as well as the metro turnstiles, station handrails, MetroCard and ATMs and other parts of the system , according to a press release from the president of the Transport Workers Union, Tony Utano.

In addition to the city's public transportation, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North and Access-A-Ride also improved their sanitation of trains and vehicles.

"Although there has only been one confirmed case of coronavirus in New York and it has not involved the public transportation system, we are determined to do everything we can to deal with the situation and protect our customers and employees, "said MTA president and CEO Pat Foye.

Improved cleaning programs include 472 metro stations, 21 Staten Island Railway stations, 124 LIRR terminals and stations, and 101 Metro-North stations.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that there will be new cleaning protocols for public transit and schools in the days and weeks to come, saying people shouldn't be alarmed. if they smell bleach more often.

Deep cleaning on widely used surfaces comes after a 39-year-old Manhattan woman tested positive for COVID-1, becoming the first confirmed case in the city and the Tri-State area.

"The patient, a woman in her thirties, contracted the virus during a trip abroad to Iran and is currently isolated at home," the governor announced on Sunday. Cuomo.

The woman is a health professional and her experience has allowed her to take proper precautions and be tested, said the governor. She flew to New York on Tuesday, but did not bring public transportation home, Cuomo said on Monday.

In the days following the first confirmed case of coronavirus in New York, a woman whose husband is tested for the disease, as well as supplies such as masks, hand sanitizer and wipes, flew off the shelves all over the three states. NBC New Yorks report Rana Novini and Marc Santia.

As a precaution, the people on her flight and the carpool driver are aware of the potential exposure, but Cuomo said the woman was not considered contagious at that time. She has respiratory symptoms but Cuomo described them as mild.

Her husband, also a healthcare worker, is isolated with her at their Manhattan home. It is also being tested for the virus, but the results are not yet known. Cuomo said officials assume he has it too.

The New York State Lab only started testing the virus on weekends, but
Cuomo said he has set a goal of being able to perform 1,000 tests a day
the week.

Rigorous testing, he said, is essential to help contain the disease.

Dr. Robert Amler, dean of the School of Health Sciences at NY Medical College – and former chief medical officer of the CDC – joins David Ushery to answer your questions about Wuhan coronavirus and COVID-19.

"Our challenge now is to test as many people as possible. You are not
will eliminate the spread, but you can limit the spread, "he said.

The spread of the virus has prompted many people to seek reliable answers to questions about how to protect themselves, what to do if they start to feel sick, and how to manage their travel plans. On Monday, Dr. Robert Amler, dean of the School of Health Sciences at NY Medical College – and former chief medical officer of the CDC – joined David Ushery to answer questions from NBC 4 viewers on Wuhan coronavirus and COVID-19. He said frequent washing of hands and keeping hands away from the face were essential, while trying to stay at least six feet from people who did not look well.

Meanwhile, NYC health commissioner Oxiris Barbot said that due to the federal government's expansion of its virus testing criteria to include Iran, 39; Italy, Japan and South Korea, more people should be tested.

"Viruses don't cross borders and this broader definition will help us to cast a wider net to detect the virus. We expect the number of cases under investigation to increase" said Barbot.

Bellevue Hospital in New York is one of many local medical centers preparing for a possible epidemic. This is part of NYC Health + Hospitals, which has 1,200 beds available throughout the system that could be readily available if the virus spreads, according to de Blasio.

However, there is no reason to panic, say local officials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend these seven tips to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Cuomo said Monday that New York has "already gone through this rodeo" with other viral epidemics, and stressed that the common flu is a more common threat than COVID-19.

"When you look at the reality here, about 80% of people infected with coronavirus resolve themselves," added the governor. As for some who might panic right now, Cuomo said, "I am a native New Yorker, we live with anxiety, but the facts do not confirm it."

De Blasio echoed Cuomo's feelings.

"The message to New Yorkers from the start is that it is something we can handle. Go into your lives, go into your business," he said. "Our health authorities have been on high alert for weeks and we are ready to respond. We will continue to ensure that New Yorkers have the facts and the resources they need to protect themselves."

But be smart, added de Blasio. Anyone with symptoms who has had a link to the epidemic, whether traveling to an affected country or by other means, should act accordingly and protectively.

De Blasio said New York City will deploy an "early detection system" that would allow medical providers to pool and share information about suspected cases and symptoms.

A Catholic church in Sea Cliff is making changes amid the coronavirus epidemic, including parishioners no longer sharing the sacred wine of the church chalice as well as not shaking hands or getting squeeze as signs of peace during mass. NBC New Yorks reports Greg Cergol.

In New Jersey, the Department of Health said that a person had pending test results. This person was isolated at home, according to Governor Phil Murphy.

There have been over 88,000 cases of new virus worldwide, with at least 3,000 deaths reported worldwide. The number of countries affected by the virus has exceeded 60. Most of the deaths are among the elderly and other vulnerable populations.

On Monday, the United States had seen six dead, all in Washington state, officials said. Cases of new coronavirus have occurred in ten states, including New York.

The news of the first two deaths arrived this weekend. On the same day that the first death was announced, President Trump approved new restrictions on international travel to prevent the spread of the new virus from China to the United States.

Travel restrictions applied to Iran, although travel by Americans is already severely limited there as well as in the heavily affected regions of Italy and South Korea.

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