coronavirus

2 More MBTA Employees Test Positive for Coronavirus

The transportation authority has been taking precautions for several weeks

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Two more MBTA employees have tested positive for COVID-19, the agency announced Thursday night.

One worker at the bus garage on Southampton Street in Boston and another at the Orient Heights rail yard in East Boston have coronavirus, the MBTA said.

In total, five employees have tested positive. A day earlier, the MBTA confirmed three bus drivers had the illness.

The agency said it already cleaned and disinfected all exposed work areas, vehicles and equipment at its bus facility in a bid to protect its employees and riders.

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"We ask the public to keep our employees in their thoughts, and I continue to express my deep gratitude to the women and men of the MBTA workforce who are serving a vital purpose in combatting COVID-19," MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said Wednesday. "To ensure we can protect the health and safety of our workforce, we strongly urge essential travel only, and we will continue our enhanced protocols for cleaning and disinfecting all vehicles, equipment, and surfaces.”

In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the MBTA is starting to sanitize stations and trains every four hours.

Passengers at the Sullivan Square T stop reacted Wednesday to the latest development in the coronavirus pandemic in Massachusetts.

"Maybe I'll take a cab," one commuter said. "Maybe it's going to be safer, safer than commuting in a train or a bus."

"That's terrible because I have a few friends that are bus drivers," said another.

The MBTA is cutting back its service in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has been wiping down all of its vehicles and stations for a number of weeks now. Schedules have been reduced and other precautions are now in place, including the implementation of rear-door boarding on all buses and trolleys at street-level stops on the Green Line and Mattapan Line in an effort to support social distancing.

“The bus I catch, he makes me get on in the back...you know, the side door," said Brenda Brantley, a rider. "And you just sit down. You don’t even go near the driver.”

The buses coming and going from Sullivan Square on Wednesday were almost empty.

"It's like riding with ghosts," one passenger said. "There's a lot of paranoia and people don't even want to do the elbow."

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