Mandatory face mask order now in effect in Massachusetts

Coronavirus

BOSTON (WPRI) — Starting Wednesday, it is mandatory to wear a face mask or cloth covering in Massachusetts when social distancing is not possible.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says that anyone over the age of two must wear a face covering. This includes anyone working or shopping inside of a store, taking public transit, or walking down a busy sidewalk.

The order allows for up to a $300 fine for those not wearing a mask, although some cities are promising to give out warnings first.

“Covering our faces when we cannot practice social distancing is an easy, critically important, essential step, that everyone can and should take,” Baker said. “It’s obviously to protect you from others, but just as important to protect others from you.”

Later on Wednesday, the Mass. Department of Public Health said 208 more residents died after contracting COVID-19, bringing the total to 4,420.

The number of cumulative cases climbed past 72,000 with another 1,754 reported, according to the DPH, The percentage of patients currently in the hospital remained roughly 5%.

Full breakdown of COVID-19 data (Mass.gov) »

Rhode Island is not far behind with a similar order that will take effect at the end of the week. Both governors said they do not want you to leave the house without a mask in hand just in case you approach a crowded area.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo signed an executive order Tuesday evening requiring all Rhode Islanders to wear face coverings while out in public, whether it be inside or outside, beginning Friday.

“Accept that we are going to have to live within new limits which none of us really like,” Raimondo said. “It will prevent the spread of the disease and it will keep the state of Rhode Island safe.”

The order includes drive-thru windows and any time you enter a business. Some shoppers say they have already been “masking up” without the executive order and wonder why others have not.

“I think at this stage it kind of annoys me because I feel like every state, and around the world globally, people just aren’t listening, and like it’s just got worse and worse,” Rebecca Sage said. “I think if everyone did what they were supposed to do from the beginning this would be over a lot quicker.”

The order in Rhode Island does allow you to not have a mask on if you are walking with family, or on a run when proper social distancing can be ensured.

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