What there is to know
- The MTA will begin a voluntary COVID-19 testing program for frontline transit workers – the first of its kind in the country, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.
- The initiative will allow up to 2,000 front-line MTA employees to be screened each week as part of the initial phase of the program.
- As part of this new initiative, free COVID testing will be offered at hubs in the field, as well as medical assessment and occupational health service centers for frontline workers at NYC Transit, LIRR, Metro-North and Bridge and Tunnels.
The MTA will begin a voluntary COVID-19 testing program for frontline transit workers – the first of its kind in the country, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.
“Our brave frontline transit workers have risked their lives to provide New Yorkers with essential service every day during this pandemic, and we must support them just as they have supported us,” Cuomo said in a statement.. “This new voluntary testing program builds on the country’s leading COVID testing program in New York City to help keep our frontline workers safe during this unprecedented pandemic. ”
The initiative will allow up to 2,000 front-line MTA employees to be screened each week as part of the initial phase of the program. The program marks the country’s first transit worker screening initiative.
“The MTA continues to lead the country on worker safety and the new COVID-19 testing program is just the latest example of this unwavering commitment to employee safety during this unprecedented public health emergency Said MTA President and CEO Patrick J. Foye. “Our workforce has been the backbone of New York City since the arrival of the virus. It is a top priority to promote a safe working environment in all of our facilities.
As part of this new initiative, free COVID testing will be offered at hubs in the field, as well as medical assessment and occupational health service centers, to frontline employees of NYC Transit, LIRR, Metro-North and Bridge and Tunnels.
The COVID-19 testing initiative will be rolled out with an initial phase that targets frontline workers through a three-part approach:
- Field sites: Field tests will be provided on a rotational basis at field sites, including bus depots as well as metro and railway stations. These locations will be determined by the MTA Occupational Health Services and will be based on the designations of hot spots and cluster areas;
- Medical Assessment Centers (MACs) and Occupational Health Services (OHS) Facilities: Voluntary testing will also be offered to all employees required to attend a MAC or OHS facility;
- Existing Partnership with Northwell Health: Free diagnostic tests remain available for MTA workers at Northwell Health-GoHealth emergency care centers.
“I urge all employees to take advantage of this vital new program as it will help us identify the virus and stop transmission in its tracks,” Patrick Warren, MTA’s director of security, said in a statement. “We know that asymptomatic spread is a very real problem with this virus and we all need to do our part to protect each other at work. I want to thank the hardworking MTA employees for making this city shake up during our most difficult times.
Meanwhile, TWU Local 100 president Tony Utano, who represents the city’s transit workers, said the screening program was something they were calling for and a way to protect members union during a possible second wave of the coronavirus.
“This is exactly the type of screening program that we are asking for and it is a huge step forward in terms of protecting members of TWU Local 100 from a possible second wave,” said the chapter president. TWU Local 100, Tony Utano, in a statement. “We will be closely monitoring its implementation, but we are grateful that our demands for testing and screening on such a scale have been heeded. ”
The program will start at the following locations until November:
- Flatbush Bus Depot
- Jackie Gleason Bus Depot
- Ulm Park Bus Depot
- Baisley Park Bus Depot
- Casey Stengel deposit
- College Point Deposit
- Far Rockaway deposit
- Jamaica deposit
- JFK deposit
- LaGuardia deposit
- Queens Village Depot
- Spring Creek Bus Depot
- Cool pond
- Grand Avenue
- Eastchester Depot
- Gun Hill Depot
- Kingsbridge Depot
- West Farms Depot
- Yonkers deposit
- Mother Clara Hale Depot
- Manhattanville Depot
- Michael J. Quill
- Aviateurs de Tuskegee (100th St)
- Castleton Depot
- Charleston Depot
- Meredith deposit
- Yukon Depot
- Medical assessment center 1
- Medical assessment center 3
- Medical Assessment Center 5, Coney Island Yard
- Installation de SST Greybar (MRN)
- Installation OHS Mineola (LIRR)
- 207th Street Yard
- Hillside courtyard (LIRR)
- Croton-Harmon (MRN)
Information on testing can also be found at the New York State Department of Health, or by calling the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065.