Face coverings now mandatory in Westport stores, public buildings

Coronavirus

WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) — The Westport Board of Health has issued an order requiring anyone who enters an essential business in town to wear a face mask or face covering to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The order includes but is not limited to grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants and home improvement stores.

Board chairman Phil Weinberg said one of the biggest reasons they implemented the order is concern over asymptomatic people who may be carrying the virus.

“One of the main problems or difficulties in reducing the transmission is that infected people will be inadvertently transmitting the virus, and the mask is one way that we can reduce that possibility,” he said.

All employees at these businesses must also cover their faces when interacting with the public or within six feet of a coworker.

The order also applies to apartment buildings and multi-unit commercial buildings. The board says anyone entering these facilities must wear a face covering while in common areas or communal spaces.

“If you’re in the common spaces, or elevators for example, and you’re not really able to maintain that six feet of social distancing, that’s where the masks can be that extra layer,” Weinberg added.

The board says acceptable face coverings include fabric masks, scarves or bandanas that cover the nose and mouth. Anyone found to be in violation of the order will be issued a warning or a fine:

  • First offense: warning
  • Secnd offense: $100 fine
  • Third and further offenses: $250 fine

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