The new campaign includes digital signage across more than 7,000 digital screens, audio announcements in stations and on trains, and more than 7,000 printed signs for buses and paratransit vehicles. MTA

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) launched a new “Keep them Covered” public awareness campaign on the heels of New York State’s Executive Order requiring all New Yorkers to wear a face covering while riding public transportation. Face coverings protecting New Yorkers’ nose and mouth, including cloth bandanas, scarves, masks, or other alternatives, were mandatory effective April 17 to ride public transportation.

The new campaign includes digital signage across more than 7,000 digital screens, audio announcements in stations and on trains, and more than 7,000 printed signs for buses and paratransit vehicles. The digital signage appears on more than 4,000 screens across the NYC Subway, 2,600 screens on buses, and 550 screens on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad. The audio announcements instruct customers — healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential personnel — making their way throughout the system to wear a face covering as the MTA has observed most of its customers already doing.

“This executive order follows our efforts, leading the country, to keep our customers and employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Patrick Warren, MTA Chief Safety Officer. “Wearing the face covering is critical to protecting public health and could ultimately save lives.”

To protect employees, the MTA disregarded federal guidance and began handing out masks to all employees before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later issued new guidance recommending all Americans wear masks. The MTA has also strongly recommended all riders wear a face covering since March 2, well in advance of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention issuing guidelines for all Americans to wear masks.

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