Question: With all the focus with reopening schools, I feel like there's been a neglect of addressing the ancillary effects of opening the schools, which is public transportation. I'm a person of color who attended elementary and high school in New York City. I know that many students of color travel to their schools by buses and trains. I've ridden the buses and trains during the height of the pandemic. My line is, as most lines, are very crowded and kids being kids, no fault of their own, often they like to corral and they're yelling and shouting at each other. Because they're just being kids. And masks are expensive. I often find when I'm riding public transit, most of the people who are not wearing masks are teens. What can be done to provide these kids with masks? Not just in school, but in public transit. So perhaps the schools can give masks to students two or three masks a day, so they can wear a mask going to school and coming back?
Mayor: First of all, we're going to be giving out free masks everywhere. This is true beyond the question of school opening. It is something we've done in the MTA. We need to redouble that. We'll be doing it in schools, absolutely free masks for all kids who need them, as many as they need. I would remind you that a single masks can last for days. It's not like you have to change your mask in the morning and put on a new one at night. So long as it hasn't been in any way altered...
Lehrer: Isn't it true that once you're out in public with a mask, you have to consider it contaminated and then wash it or use another one?
Mayor: No, that's not been the standard. If a masks gets wet, if a mask gets torn, if a mask gets old, I mean there are reasons to get rid of a mask. I've been talking to doctors about this from the beginning. I've never heard anyone say a single use disqualifies a mask. We're going to keep, however, providing them for free, constantly. Every school is going to have plenty, in different sizes for different ages of kids. I think it's a very fair point that we have to do extensive, extensive efforts to constantly, not enforce, just to educate and provide them for free.
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