MBTA ‘ramping up’ cleaning efforts to protect against coronavirus


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The MBTA says they are “ramping up” their cleaning and disinfecting procedures to help prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus.

Starting Thursday, the MBTA said they will be cleaning vehicles and stations every four hours. The new cleaning protocol also includes disinfecting guard rails, handrails and fare equipment.

“Subject to getting enough disinfectant in place, we are going to move to a protocol where we are disinfecting every vehicle every day,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said. “We are in the process of getting hand sanitizer-type equipment out into our facilities and also ramping up a process by which we are disinfecting vehicles and stations.”

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The MBTA also said new signs will be placed inside train stations encouraging good personal hygiene.

Gretchen Grant recently traveled to Providence to visit friends and tells Eyewitness News that the threat of getting the virus wasn’t going to stop her plans.

“Until the virus gets to a stage where I absolutely need to be much more restricted on my normal activities, I’m going about my regular life but with extra precautions, like I’ve got a bag full of alcohol wipes in my suitcase,” Grant said.

The MBTA said they had been planning to implement this new cleaning protocol since learning of the coronavirus outbreak and that the new procedures are in addition to their current ones.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island each have one confirmed case, meaning it was confirmed by the Centers for Diease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, Rhode Island has one presumptive positive case, while Massachusetts has two.

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