NAHANT — Town Administrator Tony Barletta has issued an emergency order mandating that all essential businesses require their employees and customers to wear face coverings to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The emergency order will go into effect Friday, May 1, and requires protective face coverings to be worn by anyone entering an essential business, as well as limits capacity inside essential businesses to five customers at a time. The order also requires essential businesses that have not done so already to place markings to help enforce social distancing between individuals at points of contact, such as cash registers.
Members of the general public age two and older entering any essential business are also required to wear a face covering.
“With warmer weather on its way, we felt it was important to make this change now in order to keep everyone safe as they start to head outdoors more frequently,” said Board of Selectmen Chair Richard Lombard. “Many of us are wearing a face covering when out in public already and we appreciate everyone’s cooperation during this unprecedented time.”
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 left for medical professionals and first responders.
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.
“Wearing a face mask or cloth covering goes a long way towards preventing the spread of COVID-19, especially if an individual is carrying the virus but not showing symptoms,” said Selectman Josh Antrim. “Along with this, it’s important that residents continue to stay home as much as possible, practice social distancing should to need to go out in public and wash your hands frequently.”
The Nahant Police Department will be enforcing this order and those who violate it may be fined up to $300, though officials will make education a priority over punitive action. This order will remain in effect until Nahant’s state of emergency is lifted or an updated order is issued.
“Many of us want to be able to enjoy the outdoors and our local businesses with our friends and family but the health of our residents is our number one priority,” Town Administrator Barletta said. “This emergency order was issued out of an abundance of caution in order to help keep everyone safe and healthy.”
“As a coastal community, the amount of activity in our town directly correlates to the weather,” said Board of Selectmen Vice Chair Mark Cullinan. “That means it is more important now than ever that we continue to practice social distancing, and take additional practical steps to protect the health of our residents and to reduce the spread of the COVID-19.”
To view the full order, click here.