National Face Mask Order Remains in Effect
Updated April 30, 2021 - Originally issued Feb. 2, 2021
Under an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all operators and transit customers are required to wear face masks at transit centers and on board to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The order went into effect in February 2021 and remains in effect until lifted by the CDC. While local mask orders may be changing or expiring, this order remains in effect for transit and paratransit service.
Wearing a face mask that covers the nose and mouth is required:
- at shelters/transit centers
- in boarding areas
- on RideKC vehicles
According to the national order, customers must wear masks while waiting at transit stops, boarding, disembarking, and the whole time on board. The order also includes other transportation such as airplanes, taxis, trains, etc. The full order is available here: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/masks/mask-travel-guidance.html
The following are attributes of masks needed to fulfill the requirements of the Order. CDC will update this guidance as needed.
- A properly worn mask completely covers the nose and mouth.
- Cloth masks should be made with two or more layers of a breathable fabric that is tightly woven (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source).
- Mask should be secured to the head with ties, ear loops, or elastic bands that go behind the head. If gaiters are worn, they should have two layers of fabric or be folded to make two layers.
- Mask should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
- Mask should be a solid piece of material without slits, exhalation valves, or punctures.
The following attributes are additionally acceptable as long as masks meet the requirements above.
- Masks can be either manufactured or homemade.
- Masks can be reusable or disposable.
- Masks can have inner filter pockets.
- Clear masks or cloth masks with a clear plastic panel may be used to facilitate communication with people who are hearing impaired or others who need to see a speaker’s mouth to understand speech.
- Medical masks and N-95 respirators fulfill the requirements of the Order.
The following do not fulfill the requirements of the Order.
- Masks worn in a way that does not cover both the mouth and nose
- Face shields or goggles (face shields or goggles may be worn to supplement a mask that meets above required attributes)
- Scarves, ski masks, balaclavas, or bandannas
- Shirt or sweater collars (e.g., turtleneck collars) pulled up over the mouth and nose.
- Masks made from loosely woven fabric or that are knitted, i.e., fabrics that let light pass through
- Masks made from materials that are hard to breathe through (such as vinyl, plastic or leather)
- Masks containing slits, exhalation valves, or punctures
- Masks that do not fit properly (large gaps, too loose or too tight)
Additional guidance on the use of masks to slow the spread of COVID-19 is available on CDC’s website.