MTA Chair: Over 500 Employees Tested Positive For COVID-19

Lynda Lopez
March 31, 2020 - 4:12 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Over 500 MTA employees have tested positive for coronavirus, according to chairman Pat Foye.

In an interview with WCBS 880’s Lynda Lopez, Foye said 582 of his colleges at the MTA have been confirmed positive. Foye also tested positive for the virus earlier this month.

He says he is “feeling fine” and only have a “very mild case” but was more concerned about the hundreds of MTA employees still sickened.

“Some of them are experiencing great difficulty and we are all thinking and praying for all of our colleagues. Obviously, there’ve been a number of deaths, so this is not about me, but about the 582 of our colleges who are concerns and, in some cases, are going through a very difficult time,” Foye said.

Seven MTA workers have already died from coronavirus and the agency lost another worker in a subway fire in Harlem last week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s reevaluating the guidance it previous gave about healthy people not needing to wear masks in public, but the MTA is already a step ahead. The agency has already begun providing masks, gloves and other protective gear to employees.

“Last week we began distributing 75,000 mass a week. We did a joint announcement with the Transport Workers Union and we're going to be increasing that number going forward,” Foye said.

He says all riders are also being warned to practice social distancing by digital signage on trains and buses.

Though ridership is down by 90%, riders are told to move to different cars or wait for another train or bus if they see one is particularly crowded, according to Foye.

He says many are complying.

“I know no summonses have been issued and I think the fact that the NYPD and the MTA police are involved has helped control crowding and we're very focused on this,” the MTA chairman said. “We don't want the health of any customer or our employees to  be endangered by the reduce service that were running.”