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Long Island Rail Road employee infected with COVID-19, MTA says

An sheet metal worker with the Long Island Rail Road has been tested positive for coronavirus and is now in quarantine, MTA Chair Pat Foye announced on Sunday.

The man, whose condition was not disclosed, has not been at work since March 7 and his workspace has been sanitized multiple times since in his absence.

“The MTA has been informed by the State Department of Health that a Long Island Rail Road employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Foye said. “The employee is in quarantine receiving appropriate care and the MTA has disinfected his workplace multiple times and is monitoring the situation closely. We expect to see additional cases reported as testing continues to ramp up, which will help us contain the spread of this virus.

According to the MTA, epidemiologists the state DOH is handling follow-up and care of the patient who did not work aboard trains as other operations staff would.

“As we have for weeks, the MTA is aggressively disinfecting our workplaces, trains, stations and buses around the clock to keep our employees and customers as safe as possible,” Foye continued.

As the first case in the city reared its head in the early part of March, the MTA took aggressive efforts to disinfect all rolling stock and touch-points in stations claiming to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the state DOH.

As the coronavirus has dramatically changed the day-to-day life of New Yorkers in a matter of days, MTA ridership metrics reflect this.

LIRR ridership was reported down by 31% while Metro-North was down 48% as of March 12. Figures for the following day showed that subway ridership took a hit of 18% and buses were being utilized 15% less.

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