New Yorkers urged to avoid the subway amid coronavirus outbreak — but straphangers have nowhere else to go

Top New York officials Monday urged locals to avoid the subway as the number of coronavirus cases in the state climbed into the triple digits.

“I want to assure the public that the subway remains safe,” said Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman Patrick Foye, adding “if you can get around without riding the subway, do it.”

That decree proved to be unreasonable for many of the 5.5 million people who rely on the system every day.

“Is he out of his mind? How can we get around if we can’t take the subway?” asked Delareen Kennedy, a Brooklyn A train rider who works in advertising. “I have a car, but I can’t take it to work every day.”

Kennedy said she now uses paper towels to grip the hand rails in subway cars and makes sure to carry hand sanitizer.

Foye last week announced the agency would disinfect every single one of its subway cars and buses every 72 hours, and wipe down surfaces in every subway station on a daily basis to combat the contagion — but many riders remain anxious about catching the disease from crowded trains.

The mayor went a step further, suggesting New Yorkers bike or walk to work instead of cramming onto rush hour trains.


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