New York City subways are set to reopen service 24 hours a day, seven days a week on May 17. Over the last year, the subway’s nighttime service was suspended in order to provide time for crews to clean as a way of mitigating the spread of the coronavirus.
“Today is a milestone for New York State, and a moment of transition,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) said, while also announcing the nearing end of “most” restrictions on capacity across the area. “If you reopen economic and social activity, you also have to have transportation available. So we’re going to coordinate the MTA’s resumption of 24-hour service with the reopening.”
Cuomo also announced that most capacity restrictions related to COVID-19 in New York and New Jersey will end on May 19.
Leaders called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) subway systems to reopen in recent days. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said at an appearance in Manhattan on Sunday, “The City That Never Sleeps has a name that we have to live up to everywhere, including within our subway service.”
Democratic Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio had pushed for the MTA to reopen 24/7 in time for the July 1 reopening of the city, the date that he has set for lifting capacity restrictions on shops, stadiums, and restaurants.
As The Daily Wire reported last month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its guidance on disinfecting surfaces, saying that it is not always necessary.
Vincent Hill, Chief of the Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch at the CDC, discussed cleaning surfaces during a CDC-sponsored telephone briefing, CNN reported.
“CDC determined that the risk of surface transmission is low, and secondary to the primary routes of virus transmission through direct contact droplets and aerosols,” Hill said, adding that the risk of virus transmission when indoors is low, but when outdoors it is even lower because the sun and other factors can kill viruses.
“In most situations, cleaning surfaces using soap or detergent, and not disinfecting, is enough to reduce the already low risk of virus transmission through surfaces,” Hill said. “Disinfecting surfaces is typically not necessary, unless a sick person or someone positive for Covid-19 has been in the home within the last 24 hours.”
Earlier this month, the CDC updated its guidelines on disinfecting surfaces, saying, “The principal mode by which people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying infectious virus. It is possible for people to be infected through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects (fomites), but the risk is generally considered to be low.”
The MTA has continued with its cleaning routine, however, stating that even the slightest chance of getting the virus from the trains could make some riders not want to choose the subway, the New York Post reported.
New York Authorities plan to continue the effort of cleaning the trains in the coming years, which is a $300 million-per-year cost, according to the Post. Cuomo reportedly supports the move.
“I can’t tell you how many New Yorkers say to me, ‘The trains are cleaner than they have ever been.’ I can’t tell you how many New Yorkers say to me, ‘There are fewer homeless who are now on the train,’” the governor said Monday.
City Council members wrote a letter asking the governor to shut down the subway system in April 2020 due to the coronavirus.
The New York Post reported at the time:
”MTA employees are going to work every day with woefully inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE). They are given one mask and one pair of gloves for an entire week while continuing to work among the filth of the subway,” the letter says, citing complaints by TWU Local 100 members.
“As a result, MTA workers are dying at a faster rate than any other front-line workers.”
Cuomo rejected the plea from the council members. As The Daily Wire reported, Cuomo waited to shut down the nightly subway service until April 30, 2020.
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