MTA, Northwell Health partner to provide tests for transit workers
Faster COVID-19 testing is on track for frontline transit workers thanks to a partnership between the MTA and Northwell Health.
MTA officials say they've identified about 400 transit workers with COVID-19 symptoms and provided that list to Northwell. Starting Friday, those workers will be asked to visit urgent care clinics for a test.
The partnership will cover about 50 MTA employees per day.
"The quantity of testing is a national issue," says MTA Chairman Pat Foye. "We hope to test every transit worker, but right now with the Northwell partnership, which we're really excited about, we're going to deal with the symptomatic transit workers first."
At least 59 MTA employees have died from the coronavirus, and more than 2,200 have tested positive. Over the past month, transit workers have been forced to seek coronavirus tests on their own. Union leaders say their members deserve expedited tests.
"I thought all along we should have some type of expedited process for our members since they are the frontlines and they are, as we say, heroes moving heroes," says SMART Union General Chairman Anthony Simon.
To be eligible, employees have to call the MTA's COVID-19 hotline and identify their symptoms. Northwell will then schedule appointments with those symptomatic employees.
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