Effective Saturday at 7 a.m., you may not shop in any Maryland retail store without wearing a face covering that covers your nose and mouth, according to an executive order signed by Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday.
The face coverings are not required to be medical grade and can include homemade masks, scarfs and bandanas.
Violation of the executive order is punishable with up to a year in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
Kent County Commissioner Ron Fithian said he fully supports Hogan’s executive order and residents here should take it seriously.
“I can see how residents in Kent may take this lightly because we have one of the lowest COVID-19 rates in the state,” Fithian said in a brief phone interview. “But it’s important to remember that wearing a mask is mostly to protect you from spreading it to others.”
“It could be the rates are lower here in Kent because Hogan took decisive and immediate action to stop the spread of the disease early on,” he continued. “Until someone has a better plan I think we should listen to the Governor and obey the executive order.”
Chestertown Mayor Chris Cerino agreed.
“I would strongly urge people in the community to heed the Governor’s directive to wear masks, especially in enclosed public spaces, to continue to bend the curve,” he said.
Under the executive order, shoppers over the age of nine are required to wear a face covering. And adults with children ages 2-9 must make every effort to also equip their children with face coverings while in any retail establishment.
All retailers are required to furnish masks to all of their employees and employees are required to wear them.
Food service employees must wear masks, including those delivering food. This includes the pizza delivery guy.
Retailers are required to design a method to move customers through their stores that maintain social distancing of 6 feet. This could include marking the floor with tape to keep customers six feet apart in the checkout line.
Retailers must also post signage of the mask requirement at all entrances to their stores.
If you plan on using public transportation, you must also wear a face covering and transit employees must do the same.