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Metro riders required to wear face masks starting Monday

Non-medical masks, scarves, handkerchiefs, bandannas and other types of cloth coverings are allowed

ST. LOUIS — As a train pulls away from the platform at Metro Transit's Forest Park-DeBaliviere station, riders made their way upstairs where they can see the steps workers are taking to stop the spread of COVID-19.

There's a handwashing station set up by the entrance, signs reminding them to follow best practices for hygiene, and one other poster board outlining a new requirement: "effective Monday, May 11, face coverings required for all transit riders."

RELATED: All Metro riders will have to wear masks beginning Monday

"That sign is posted almost everywhere," rider Arionne Martin said as he stepped outside the station's gates.

Martin has pulled a red face mask down around his neck as he heads to Mother's Day celebration, trying to keep his mother and family safe.

"For my 18 years that I have been on this earth, she has been doing so much for me, my brother, my sister, so it’s time to give back," Martin said.

But not everybody's gotten the message about the new requirement yet.

"So it's mandatory? Without it, you can't get on a train?" Lawrence Blount asks on his way in. He raises his eyebrow and lets out a long "oh...." as he realizes he'll need to bring a mask next time.

The face mask requirement does not apply to anyone under the age of two, nor any riders who have trouble breathing, are incapacitated, or can't remove face covers without assistance.

"The majority of people have some sort of face covering," Danielle Viehmann said as she pulled her own surgical mask from a zipped plastic bag. "Whether it be a scarf, or a mask, or a handkerchief, the majority have something to cover their face."

Viehmann said she wears her mask on her afternoon ride "for the safety of everyone," and soon everyone else will do the same to ensure her health too.

Contact reporter Sara Machi on Facebook and Twitter.

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