The MTA will now give out a second mask to any rider who asks for it

According to the CDC, double masking efforts significantly decrease the spread of COVID-19.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan
Senior National News Editor
Mask on subway
Photograph: Shutterstock

According to the New York Daily News, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) transit crews now have an added job responsibility: to give out a second mask to any rider who asks for one. That includes both folks that work inside token booths and those that actually ride trains.

The news comes at the heels of other recently announced MTA updates, including officials' decision to resume at least some overnight subway service starting this week. The system's overnight shutdown hours have officially been cut in half, which means you'll be able to ride the train until 2am and then starting 4am each morning. Since May of last year, shutdown hours ran between 1am and 5am.

The new mask guidelines follow the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention's latest directions, which suggest that doubling up on face coverings decreases the risk of spreading COVID-19 by a whopping 65%. To be specific, health officials suggest that the proper way to double mask is to first don a disposable one and then cover it with a cloth option.

Low subway ridership numbers will undoubtedly help stop the spread of the virus as well. According to the New York Daily News, "ridership remains roughly 70% lower than last February." 

Perhaps, these new face covering-related measures will infuse a bit of hope in the system, spurring New Yorkers to hop on the trains that run (mostly) under our city once again.

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