WASHINGTON — A new executive order from Governor Larry Hogan requires Marylanders over the age of nine to wear a face-covering during essential trips to places like grocery stores and public transit.
Hogan announced the executive order during a coronavirus briefing on April 15, saying the move will help promote safety efforts that could get Maryland to safely re-open sooner. The order goes went to effect at 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 18.
“While this order is an important step in our immediate efforts to protect public health and safety, the wearing of masks is also something that we may all have to become more accustomed to in order to safely reopen our state," Hogan said.
Here's how the state defines what needs to be worn: “Face Covering” means a covering that fully covers a person’s nose and mouth, but is not a Medical-Grade Mask. The term “Face Covering” includes, without limitation, scarves and bandanas.
The list of places where a mask is required includes:
- Grocery stores
- Convenience stores
- Farmers markets
- Takeout restaurants
- Liquor stores
- Cleaning supply stores
- Home good stores
- Public Transit
Parents with children ages 2 to 9 years old must do their best to make sure their kids have face coverings on in food and retail businesses.
A person is subject to up to one year of imprisonment or a fine of up to $5,000 if found violating the order.
A similar order has already been enacted locally in Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Frederick County and Anne Arundel County. Face coverings are also required in D.C. in these same kind of establishments.
READ: The entire executive order from Gov. Hogan
For those looking to make your own masks, check out our tips here.
What precautions should you take?
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wear a mask if you have to make an essential trip outside
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Reasons to leave your home under stay-at-home order:
- Grocery store trips
- Medical visits or trips to the pharmacy
- Travel to your essential job
- Exercise such as walks, hikes or bike rides
Commonly reported symptoms of COVID-19 infection include:
- Shortness of breath
If you are sick or suspect you are infected, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking the followings steps:
- Stay home except to get medical care
- Avoid public areas, including work or school
- Avoid public transportation
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
- Contact your doctor via telemedicine for more guidance