23 MTA Employees Test Positive For Coronavirus

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By WCBS Newsradio 880

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The MTA announced Thursday that 23 employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye said 19 are with New York City Transit and 4 are with the Long Island Rail Road.

"These individuals are in quarantine or receiving appropriate care," Foye said in a statement. "As we have said, this is not unexpected as testing continues to ramp up, which will help contain the spread of the virus.We expect this number will only continue to increase."

Foye said the MTA is working closely with the state Department of Health to identify any colleagues who have come in contact with the sickened employees, send them home to self-quarantine, provide access to necessary testing and immediately and aggressively disinfect the workplace.

MTA Senior Advisor Ken Lovett said in a statement that after the agency was notified of three employees at the Fresh Pond Bus Depot possibly testing positive for the COVID-19 virus "34 employees at the depot who came in close contact with the individuals have been instructed to self-quarantine."

Lovett said, "The building itself has been fully and aggressively disinfected, twice, as per protocol. We continue to monitor the situation closely and we have contingency staffing plans in place."

The news comes on the same day that the LIRR stopped accepting cash payments at ticket windows and on board trains in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.