IPSWICH — Town Manager Anthony Marino and Public Health Director Colleen Fermon, after consulting with the town’s Board of Health, have issued an emergency order regarding face coverings in essential businesses.
The order, which goes into effect today, requires all employees and customers of essential businesses wear face coverings in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“This order was issued in an effort to protect the health of Ipswich residents and essential workers,” Fermon said. “With many already wearing face masks or coverings while out in public, we appreciate everyone’s cooperation during this unique time, and are incredibly grateful for the work employees at essential businesses are doing in order to provide all of us with the services we need.”
The order does not extend to public areas; for example, residents will not be required to wear a mask outdoors while walking their dogs, running or bicycling.
Examples of essential businesses as defined by Gov. Baker’s COVID-19 Executive Orders include food establishments, grocery stores and pharmacies .
Under the new emergency order, employees of essential businesses must wear a face covering when interacting with members of the public and when within six feet of a co-worker. The order also applies to customers aged two-years-old and older, and includes members of the public who are entering a restaurant for the purpose of picking up food for take-out.
Face coverings can be made out of household fabrics and materials, and should ideally have multiple layers. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators, which should be reserved for medical professionals and first responders.
The Ipswich Police Department and Ipswich Public Health officials will be enforcing this order, and individuals or business who violate or do not comply with it could be fined up to $300. This order will remain in effect until further notice.
Key elements to remember when wearing a face covering include:
- It should fit snugly against the side of your face
- It should be secured with ties or ear loops
- It should have multiple layers of fabric
- It should allow for breathing without restriction
- Fabric face coverings should be cleaned after each use and should be machine washable and dryer safe
- Always remove the mask directly into the laundry or trash and then immediately wash your hands
- Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing your mask
Instructions for how to fashion a homemade face covering with no sewing required can be found here.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), face coverings should not be placed on children under two years old, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
To view the full order, click here.