New York City's subway system will shut down each day from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. so trains can be cleaned and disinfected.
The announcement comes following calls from Governor Andrew Cuomo that public transit be sanitized regularly so essential workers aren't at risk by just going to work.
Two days earlier, Gov. Cuomo criticized the city for allowing homeless people to shelter on the trains, calling the situation "disrespectful to essential workers" who rely on the MTA. He said he consulted Mayor Bill de Blasio about the order.
"That is disgusting, what is happening on those subway cars," Cuomo said Tuesday.
He continued, "It's not even safe for the homeless people to be on trains. No face masks, you have this whole outbreak, we're concerned about homeless people, so we let them stay on the trains without protection in this epidemic of the COVID virus? No. We have to do better than that, and we will."
Cuomo said efforts to clean the trains will impact approximately 10,000 riders each night. Buses, vans and for-hire vehicles will be provided to mitigate the inconvenience.
More than 50 MTA workers have died of COVID-19 — much higher than the death rate in the general population — and about 2,000 have tested positive for the coronavirus.
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