With cases of COVID-19 in the United States reaching more than 800,000, health authorities and experts want all people to understand the benefits of wearing face masks. More cities, counties and states announced new measures requiring people to always cover their mouth and nose when in public places.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that face coverings could help reduce the risk of transmitting or contracting the novel coronavirus. With the recommendation from the federal government, officials started making masks mandatory in some parts of the U.S.
In some states, authorities can even arrest residents who would fail to wear face masks in certain places. All of the mandates mainly require people to use face coverings at essential businesses, hospitals and public transportation.
Those areas are known for regularly having a large number of people and with closed spaces where social distancing can be difficult to follow. However, in some cities, residents must cover their mouth and nose when they come close to someone along the way, like on the sidewalk, CNET reported Tuesday.
Age can also be another factor when requiring face coverings. In San Francisco, children between the ages of 3 and 12 are not required to wear a face mask, but in Maryland any individual older than 9 years should use one when going out.
Areas With Strict Face Mask Orders
New York, California, Maryland, Texas and Oklahoma have already enforced regulations that make face coverings obligatory in public areas. Pennsylvania also recently joined the list and even allows businesses or stores to deny people of entry when not wearing any face mask.
Meanwhile in Texas, face mask mandates involve fining residents $1,000 for not covering their mouth and nose in closed areas such as public buildings or gas stations. Oklahoma residents must always wear cloth masks within city limits.
Using even simple cloth face coverings could help “slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others,” the CDC said on its website. “Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.”