State to require masks where social distancing is not possible

SOMERVILLE, MA: April 11, 2020: Massachusetts Charlie Baker wears a mask as he tours the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System setup to decontaminate N95 masks at Assembly Row Somerville, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today issued an order requiring the use of masks or face coverings in public places where they cannot socially distance from others. The administration also announced expanded community health center COVID-19 testing capacity at centers throughout the commonwealth.

This statewide order goes into effect on May 6th and supersedes previously issued guidance relative to mask use.

This order applies to all workers and customers of businesses and other organizations that are currently open to the public and permitted to operate as COVID-19 Essential Businesses, 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.

A face covering may include anything that covers your nose and mouth, including a mask, scarf or bandana. Health care masks should not be used and should be preserved for health care workers and first responders.

Cloth masks should not be worn by young children under the age of two, persons with difficulty breathing, or those who are unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Instructions on how to make a cloth mask are available from the CDC.