AT AIRPORTS, BUS TERMINALS, AND ON PATH, PORT AUTHORITY INCREASES PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES AGAINST CORONAVIRUS
Agency to Enhance Cleanings of Surfaces and Restrooms for Passengers at its Facilities Across the Region;
Airports, PATH System, Bus Terminal, Bus Station, and Oculus Will See Intensified Sanitization with EPA-Approved Disinfectants; Port Authority Has Been Collaborating with CDC, CBP & State Health Departments Since January
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today announced enhanced facility-wide cleaning and sanitizing protocols being implemented in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Port Authority will increase cleanings of restrooms and surfaces frequently touched by passengers at the region’s airports, at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, at the George Washington Bridge Bus Station, at the Oculus World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and in the PATH train system. All areas will be disinfected on a regular basis using EPA-approved and CDC-endorsed disinfectants. The Port Authority continues to consult with New York State Department of Health, New Jersey Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"Safety and security are the top priority for the Port Authority as we work every day to keep the region moving,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “In consultation with federal and state health authorities the Port Authority is instituting an enhanced cleaning schedule effective immediately.”
“As part of our commitment to the passengers at our facilities, the agency will increase cleanings in response to the coronavirus,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “Across our facilities we are utilizing EPA approved, anti-viral cleaning agents to maintain the highest levels of sanitation.”
At the international arrivals areas at the region’s airports, the Port Authority has instructed all terminal operators to intensify cleaning protocols. This effort includes increased cleaning of restrooms using EPA-approved and CDC-endorsed cleaning agents and increased wipe down of frequently touched surfaces including doors, countertops, handrails on stairs and escalators, elevator cabs and buttons, information kiosks, ticket vending machines, ticket counters, seating areas, charging stations, water fountains, etc. The Port Authority has also directed terminal operators to deploy additional hand sanitizer units in the areas around federal inspection facilities.
All decisions regarding the screening of international passengers arriving to the United States are made by federal agencies including the CDC and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). As it has since January, the Port Authority is providing all necessary support for the screening currently being carried out by the CDC and CBP of passengers at its airports and any ensuing referrals for quarantine in cooperation with state and city health authorities.
BUS TERMINAL, BUS STATION, AND THE OCULUS
At the Port Authority Bus Terminal, George Washington Bridge Bus Station, and the Oculus World Trade Center Transportation Hub, the Port Authority will increase the frequency and intensity of all cleaning routines. All commonly touched surfaces in the public spaces will be sanitized on a regular basis with an EPA-approved and CDC-endorsed cleaning agent. This includes surfaces throughout the facilities such as doors, handrails on stairs and escalators, elevator cabs and buttons, information Kiosks, ticket vending machines, ticket counters, seating areas, charging stations, water fountains, etc.
On PATH, the Port Authority has implemented an enhanced cleaning procedure with an EPA-approved and CDC-endorsed cleaning agent for all PATH cars, stations, and the Journal Square Bus Terminal. In addition to routinely removing stains, soil and surface dirt, cleaners will be disinfecting commonly touched surfaces including seating, doors, handrails, turnstiles, emergency gates, elevators, information kiosks, SmartLink and MetroCard ticket machines, etc.
The Port Authority has also deployed health guidance PSAs in terminals and stations. The agency encourages all travelers to make themselves aware of the health and safety protocols established by the CDC. These include recommendations to:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas should call ahead to their healthcare provider before presenting for treatment.