WASHINGTON — Metro has now officially closed 19 stations amid coronavirus concerns. After previously closing 17 stations due to decreased ridership, and a desire to conserve cleaning supplies, WMATA announced Thursday that the Tenleytown and Van Ness stations were being closed, due to an overnight worker testing positive for coronavirus.
The new cases mark the fourth WMATA worker to test positive for the virus.
"The stations were closed as soon as we were advised that a contractor who recently performed work during overnight hours tested positive for Covid-19," a Metro spokesperson said. "The task force is currently assessing the situation, but based on what we know at this point, it does not appear that there was any potential for close contact with customers. We are proceeding in an abundance of caution."
Metro announced the Tenleytown and Van Ness stations had reopened Friday morning.
The transit agency officially closed Smithsonian Metro and Arlington Cemetery Metro at 5 p.m. on March 19 so tourists would be thwarted from using the system to see the cherry blossoms blooming near the Tidal Basin.
On Tuesday, WMATA announced the closure of 17 more stations, citing decreased ridership. Metro’s Pandemic Task Force said ridership was down by 90%, and that closures were necessary to conserve cleaning supplies.
Officials said Metro has two to three weeks of disinfectant in its inventory and it can conserve if it cuts back on cleaning escalators, elevators etc.
"Metro is taking action to make its current 2-3 week warehouse supply stretch until massive orders placed in late January are received," WMATA said in a press release.
Here are the closed stations (effective March 26)
- Federal Center SW
- Federal Triangle
- Mt Vernon Square
- Judiciary Square
- Eisenhower Ave
- Virginia Square
- Cleveland Park
- East Falls Church
- College Park
- Morgan Boulevard
- Van Dorn St
- *Arlington Cemetery
Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said that reducing service will keep Metro workers healthy and the system running.
"We’re doing everything we can," Wiedefeld said. "We’re not going to provide the service unless it’s safe."
The coronavirus crisis closed one other station on March 19, but only briefly. D.C. Fire and EMS told WUSA9 that Metro Center was closed when a WMATA worker claimed they were exposed to COVID-19. Emergency workers were called to the station at 10:38 a.m., but a department spokesman told WUSA9 that the patient signed a refusal of treatment about an hour later. A Metro spokesperson said the station was disinfected before it reopened.