Subways to get scrub-downs to fight coronavirus

BOROUGHWIDE — The MTA will battle coronavirus by “significantly increasing the frequency and intensity” of cleanings across its entire fleet and at each of its more than 700 stations, the agency announced Tuesday. 

The MTA said workers will disinfect its stations’ most frequently touched surfaces — like MetroCard machines, handrails and turnstiles — on a daily basis, and will sanitize each of its vehicles every 72 hours. 

The new cleaning regimen applies to all 472 subway stations, 21 Staten Island Railway stations, 101 Metro-North stations and 124 Long Island Rail Road stations and terminals across the system. 

The agency manages a fleet of 14,919 vehicles — including subway cars, buses and Access-A-Ride vans — which will be cleaned every 72 hours beginning Monday night, the MTA said. 

While disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide, bleach and alcohol are effective at killing coronaviruses on surfaces, surface-to-person spread is not the most common mode of transmission for the novel coronavirus. 

According to the CDC, the virus most often spreads through person-to-person contact, primarily when people cough or sneeze, ejecting particles that may then enter the mouths and noses of others within a 6-foot radius. 

The CDC has said that, while surface-to-person contact is a less common mode of transmission, touching a surface contaminated with the virus and then becoming infected after touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes is still possible. 

Unlike other viruses, such as measles, the novel coronavirus is not thought to remain airborne for long periods of time. 

It’s not yet known how long the novel coronavirus can survive on surfaces. Other coronaviruses, including those responsible for the common cold, can live for days outside of a host.

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