Mass. cities ordering residents to wear masks in grocery stores, pharmacies

In an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus and flatten the curve, two Massachusetts cities recently passed an emergency order that requires the public to wear masks while inside essential businesses unit further notice.

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“All members of the public entering any essential business as defined by Governor Baker’s COVID-19 Executive Orders, including but not limited to grocery stores, pharmacies, home improvement stores and the like must wear a cloth face covering,” the Salem Board of Health wrote in the emergency order.

Acceptable face coverings include fabric masks, scarves or bandanas. Health officials say the coverings must be worn over the mouth and nose. The recommended coverings do not include surgical masks or N-95 respirators.

The order states that all members of the public entering a restaurant to pick up food must also wear a face covering.

Employees of all essential businesses are being ordered to wear a face-covering when interacting with the public and within six feet of a co-worker.

Anyone entering or exiting a residential or commercial building complex that houses more than one resident must wear a mask. Masks must also be worn while in common areas and communal spaces.

The sentiment was echoed by Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone who issued a similar order on Friday.

“The important part about face coverings is they help prevent you from spreading this disease to others. Your mask protects others. Their mask protects you,” Curtatone said.

All Massachusetts grocery stores have been ordered to limit capacity to 40 percent.

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