BY GRANT LANCASTER
The Metropolitan Transit Authority will display health guidelines in multiple languages across thousands of electronic screens in their transit system as well as offering extended hours for MTA employees to get flu shots as part of their precautions against coronavirus.
Despite the lack of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in New York, MTA officials plan to display these health messages across 3,600 subway screens, 2,000 bus screens, 550 commuter railroad screens and 84 subway station entrances in English, Chinese, Spanish, Russian and Korean, according to a Thursday press release.
These messages urge commuters to cover their nose and mouth when they cough and sneeze, wash their hands, avoid sick people and seek medical attention if they feel ill with fever, coughing or trouble breathing after traveling.
The safety recommendations align with Centers for Disease Control guidelines that the MTA suggests New Yorkers follow.
MTA officials are keeping an eye on the latest coronavirus news from federal and state health authorities and have emergency plans prepared to deal with public health crises, said Patrick Warren, MTA’s chief safety officer.
As of Feb. 27, the New York State Department of Health has investigated 27 suspected cases of COVID-19, six of which were in New York City, but all were negative for the illness, according to the department’s website.
In addition to educational messages for commuters, MTA officials plan to expand the hours that MTA employees can get free flu shots at the Medical Assessment Centers, according to the release. Employees can also get their shots at a local pharmacy if they choose.