An Orange Line train was removed from service in Boston Friday after the MBTA was told that a man licked parts of the vehicle, a health concern during the coronavirus outbreak.
The train was sidelined at the Tufts Medical Center station out of an abundance of caution, an MBTA representative said. No information was released on the person who may have licked the car, but the man was apparently wearing what appeared to be a hospital bracelet, according to someone familiar with what happened.
The subways are nearly empty and ridership across system is down dramatically in the wake of the outbreak, which has infected hundreds in Boston and over 3,200 across Massachusetts, killing 35 in the Bay State. The Tufts Medical Center station was nearly deserted after the incident Friday afternoon, with people leaving trains in silence, some wearing masks.
MBTA service schedules have already been reduced and, while it regularly cleans stations and vehicles, a number of employees have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
To protect the safety of employees and passengers, the MBTA is urging people to travel only when absolutely necessary, even as cleaning and sanitation of the system continues.