U.S. government to send nearly 100 million face coverings for transit passengers

FILE PHOTO: Passengers wear protective face masks at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on an unusually empty Memorial Day weekend during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 23, 2020. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled plans on Friday to send nearly 100 million face coverings to airports, transit agencies and U.S. passenger railroad service Amtrak over the coming weeks, in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The cloth coverings will be provided as a supplement for passengers, DOT said in a statement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces, which are reopening after months-long shutdowns aimed at stemming the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus.

Nearly 87 million of the masks, procured by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will go to airports, DOT said. The allotment is in addition to some 15 million committed to critical infrastructure workers in the transportation sector.

Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Richard Chang