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Utica taxi cab drivers are struggling during coronavirus epidemic

Utica cabbies struggling to making a living during the coronavirus epidemic.

Posted: Mar 29, 2020 1:33 PM
Updated: Mar 29, 2020 11:52 PM

Utica, N.Y. - Joe Khouri, owner of Ace Taxi in Utica, says he has had to cut the number of his cab drivers from 9 down to 3 since Governor Cuomo shut down the bars and restaurants in the state two weeks ago, and since then, people have been basically just staying at home to help keep the virus from spreading.

Taxis have been identified as an essential service to remain open during this crisis. Khouri says taxis are definitely essential, "There’s a lot of people that depend on us that need to go places and see their doctors, physicians, pick up their medication, and also grocery shopping."

Khouri says not too many people are calling taxis these day and his cabbies, like cabbies all across the country, are struggling. Khouri says he understands people's concerns about getting in an enclosed vehicle with another person because that other person may not show symptoms of coronavirus, but could unknowingly have it. Khouri says that trepidation goes both ways, for the the rider, and the driver.

That is why Khouri is asking anyone that may be sick to not call for a cab, "We’re all in this together, and I urge everyone please, if you are sick do not call the taxi. We are going to ask you when you call here for a ride, we’re going to ask you if you are not well, because we will not take you, that’s just plain and simple."

Khouri also says his drivers, while they are doing a lot less driving, they are doing a lot more cleaning, "Every time a person leaves our car, we will pull over, sanitize the inner and outer door handles, also wipe down the vehicle on the inside so that the next fair that comes in, they are protected in there safe."

Khouri also says his drivers now have a thermometer which they use to take the temperature of riders before they get in, "This laser temperature thermometer will help identify anyone that is sick or has a fever, and if you do, you’re not riding with us. We will tell you to get to a physician, call your doctor, whatever."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 364965

Reported Deaths: 29484
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City19996821362
Nassau400342137
Suffolk392581861
Westchester331861352
Rockland13047626
Orange10292443
Erie5810504
Dutchess3847138
Monroe2791198
Onondaga2033127
Albany179676
Ulster164574
Sullivan134030
Putnam122758
Niagara97263
Oneida92946
Schenectady67329
Broome52844
Rensselaer46628
Saratoga46511
Columbia38032
Madison31010
Warren25226
Steuben24141
Greene23118
Washington22813
Orleans21033
St. Lawrence2002
Fulton19818
Ontario1989
Genesee1954
Tompkins1550
Chemung1361
Chenango1250
Tioga12421
Livingston1187
Wayne1103
Herkimer1053
Oswego1053
Clinton954
Montgomery824
Wyoming825
Cattaraugus820
Cayuga801
Chautauqua784
Delaware784
Jefferson720
Otsego695
Seneca550
Schoharie490
Allegany450
Yates396
Cortland390
Essex360
Lewis200
Franklin200
Schuyler110
Hamilton50
Unassigned00
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