New MTA screening program offers free COVID-19 testing to frontline transit workers

MTA
Photo credit Cindy Ord/Getty Images

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The MTA will offer free COVID-19 testing to frontline transit workers at sites including bus depots and subway yards as part of a new screening initiative, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

The program, which is being touted as the first transit worker screening initiative in the U.S., will offer COVID-19 testing to New York City Transit, LIRR, Metro-North and Bridge and Tunnels employees at “field locations” including bus depots, as well as at medical facilities, Cuomo said in a release.

The MTA plans to screen up to 2,000 employees per week as part of the initiative’s first phase, the release said.

“Our brave frontline transit workers risked their lives to provide New Yorkers an essential service every single day during this pandemic, and we must support them, just as they have supported us,” the governor said in a statement.

“This new voluntary screening program leverages New York’s nation-leading COVID testing program to help keep our frontline workers safe during this unprecedented pandemic,” he added.

In his own statement, MTA Chief Safety Officer Patrick Warren urged the agency’s employees to take part in the program.

“We know that asymptomatic spread is a very real concern with this virus and we all need to do our part to keep each other safe at work,” he said.

As of Sunday, 126 MTA employees had died of complications related to COVID-19.