The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) plans to distribute approximately 15.5 million cloth face masks to transportation workers to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Only a small percentage of those will be available to truckers.
Secured by FEMA, the 15.5 million “cloth facial coverings” will be sent to workers and businesses via the postal service.
“Transportation workers are on the frontlines of keeping our transportation systems operational during this public health emergency and their wellbeing and safety is paramount,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao according to Overdrive.
Transportation workers getting sick is of concern on a national level. Not only because they keep the country moving, but also because one infected individual could spread the virus to multiple different communities. Face masks will help prevent transportation workers from getting sick, but they will also help prevent those same workers from carrying the virus with them wherever they go.
The “Highway and Motor Carrier” segment is getting 2.1 million face masks allocated to it. 4.8 million will go to mass transit and passenger rail, 3.8 million to aviation, 2.4 million to maritime workers, 2.2 million to freight rail, and 258,000 to pipeline system workers.