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Riding the bus? Get ready to put on a mask

The face-covering requirement for riders takes effect Monday, July 6.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — If you're riding the bus, you're wearing a mask.

Knoxville Area Transit announced Thursday that starting Monday, July 6, all riders will have to wear a mask or face covering.

Also Monday, the bus line plans to ramp back up to full service.

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The requirement is a response to Mayor Indya Kincannon's decree this week that people on city-owned property must wear a mask to help stop the potential spread of COVID-19.

The requirement also applies to travelers passing through the main Knoxville Station Transit Center downtown on Church Avenue above the James White Parkway, according to KAT. It also applies to trolley riders.

Don't have a mask for the trip? KAT can fix that.

"Masks will be available on board each bus for anyone who does not have a face covering upon boarding," according to the KAT announcement. "In addition, reusable face masks are available at KAT’s Customer Service Counter at Knoxville Station."

If you don't have an actual mask, a scarf, bandana or any cloth that covers the mouth and nose will suffice, according to KAT.

Amid a sharp increase in positive and active virus cases, authorities are now becoming stricter about mask use. On Wednesday, the Knox County Board of Health voted 7-1, with Mayor Glenn Jacobs casting the sole no vote, to require that people don masks if they're going to indoor, enclosed spaces where the public gathers.

According to the transportation network, service levels will return to normal programming Monday. Reduced service was imposed after the virus outbreak.

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