WHITMAN — The Whitman Board of Health has issued an order requiring all essential businesses to require their employees and customers to wear face coverings to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as the number of cases continues to rise in town.
The order requires protective face coverings to be worn by employees of any essential business — which, as defined by Gov. Baker’s COVID-19 Executive Orders, include but are not limited to food establishments, grocery stores and pharmacies — when interacting with members of the public and when within six feet of a co-worker.
Members of the general public age 2 and older entering any essential business are also required to wear a face covering.
It is the responsibility of each business to ensure that all visitors entering their establishment wear a face covering while on the premises. Any business failing to follow this order will be subject to the following penalties:
- For 1st offense, closure and discontinuance of operations for 24 hours
- For 2nd offense, closure and discontinuance of operations for 48 hours
- A subsequent offense will result in closure for a minimum of one week and a maximum of the duration of the state of emergency
Face coverings are recommended to be a fabric mask, scarf or bandanna, and should not be surgical masks or N-95 respirators as those supplies are needed by medical professionals and first responders.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cloth face coverings should:
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties and/or ear loops
- Include multiple layers of fabric
- Allow for breathing without restriction
- Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change in shape
Additional guidance regarding wearing and making a cloth face covering can be found on the CDC website.
The town would also like to remind residents to properly dispose of their used gloves and face masks in trash cans or other types of waste receptacles. Residents may also consider keeping an extra plastic or paper bag in their vehicle to put used gloves or masks in temporarily if a trash bin is not immediately available. Improperly disposed of masks and gloves pose additional health and environmental risks to the community.
Residents are reminded that they should only be leaving home to purchase essential items or go to essential jobs, and should continue to practice aggressive social distancing and appropriate personal hygiene.
For more information on COVID-19, visit the Town of Whitman’s website at whitman-ma.gov or its COVID-19 Resource website at whitmancovid19.com, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) website by clicking here or the CDC website by clicking here.