Governor Cuomo Tours NYC Subway Cars Being Disinfected for COVID-19

On Saturday, May 2, Governor Andrew Cuomo toured a Queens train facility where he observed NYC Subway workers using chemical disinfectant on and cleaning subway cars. Afterwards, he delivered a daily briefing on the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.

“We want people to know who need to use the subways and buses, because they are working, that they’re safe. And the essential workers who have kept this entire society functioning have done an extraordinary job, and we want them to know that we’re doing everything we can do to keep them safe,” said Gov. Cuomo.

Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

During the news conference that followed the tour, Cuomo announced that the state and the MTA are going to undertake a full survey of antibody testing for transit workers. He acknowledged that bus and subway workers have been on the front line. “We talk about essential workers. People who are out there every day running the buses, running the subways all through this. We know that there’s been a very high infection rate among transit workers,” said Cuomo.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo tours NYC subway cars being disinfected for COVID-19. Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

He stated that to to keep transit workers and the riding public safe, the MTA is going to be disinfecting every train 24 hours. To make that possible the entire NYC subway system will shutdown between 1 AM and 5 AM, daily.

“We’re taking the unprecedented step during this pandemic of closing the system for four hours at night from 1:00 a.m. to 5 a.m. when the ridership is lowest.”

Cuomo promised that the disinfecting regimen will involve more than just subway cars, but all of the train stations, all the handrails, Metro Card machines, and wherever the public comes in contact with mass transit.

“We want people to know who need to use the subways and buses, because they are working [and] that they’re safe,” he added.

At one point during his tour, Cuomo performed part of a three-step disinfectant process of an MTA subway train care at the Corona Maintenance Facility in Queens. He praised the transit workers for showing up to work despite the pandemic’s dangers. Cuomo commended them for their “extraordinary example of duty and honor and respect and love for what they do.”

“So, God bless them all, but we also have to do what we have to do to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep them safe, and this heroic effort on cleaning the subways is part of that,” he said in concluding his remarks.

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