Massachusetts residents will now have to wear masks when going out in public.
Gov. Charlie Baker issued a new executive order Friday mandating the action. All residents over the age of two must now use a face covering or mask in public places where maintaining proper social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are not possible. This statewide order goes into effect on Tuesday, May 6 and is intended to help prevent flare-ups of COVID-19 as the state loosens its stay-at-home advisory and business closure orders.
This order also applies to all workers and customers of businesses and other organizations that are currently open to the public and permitted to operate as essential businesses under Baker’s emergency declaration, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and other retail stores. Residents are also required to wear a mask or face covering at all times when using any means of transportation service or public mass transit.
But what should you wear on your face? The administration urged residents to leave N95 masks and other health care equipment for first responders and health care workers. Instead, Baker urged residents to use any type of face covering, including cloth masks, scarves and bandannas. For mask-making directions, the administration directed residents to the CDC’s website. Unconscious people or anyone otherwise unable to remove a mask without help should not wear one, Baker’s order says.
Over the weekend, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh released a video showing how to make a mask out of common household items.
Updated 9:35 a.m., May 4, 2020: This story has been updated to add a mask-making tutorial recorded by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.