At least 41 Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers have died from the coronavirus and more than 6,000 have been infected or have self-quarantined as the outbreak devastates the agency responsible for transporting New York City’s essential workers, according to The New York Times. Over 800 subways have been delayed, 40 percent of trains have been canceled, and the average wait time for some of them has spiked by 40 percent due to transit workers staying home. The agency is in part responsible for the outbreak among its workers for failing to act early on the crisis, the Times reported. The MTA reportedly waited too long to start disinfecting work spaces and then did so inefficiently, which prompted workers to take precautions to protect themselves.
The agency failed to keep track of the outbreak’s extent and then couldn’t properly inform workers that they might have been exposed to the virus, according to the Times. At least 1,500 transit workers have tested positive for the virus and 5,604 who are exhibiting symptoms have self-quarantined. “Daily service can barely be maintained right now, and soon they’re not going to have the manpower to run these trains at all,” Canella Gomez, an MTA train operator, told the Times. “The M.T.A. dropped the ball with this. They let us get sick on the job. Now it’s too late.”