PLYMOUTH, MA — The Plymouth Board of Health became the latest South Shore community to issue an order to the public to wear face masks in public buildings and common areas of residences on Wednesday. The Plymouth order, which did not specify fines for non-compliance or language endorsing businesses refusing service to patrons not wearing masks, does include a $300 fine for for improper disposal of gloves, face masks and other personal protective equipment.
Weymouth and Hingham enacted orders this week “strongly advising” the use of face masks in those towns in cases where a social distance of 6 feet or more cannot be safely maintained.
The Plymouth order said the public must wear a mask covering the mouth and nose in any essential building, including, but not limited to, grocery stores, farm stand stores, pharmacies, home improvement stores, banks, ice cream manufacturers/dairies, government agencies, liquor/beer/wine stores, convenience stores, and the similar businesses. The face mask can consist of a cloth covering, and does not have to be the type N95 respirator or surgical mask reserved for medical workers and first responders.
Coverings are also ordered for those entering restaurants for take-out or using drive-thru windows for food or medication. Employees of essential businesses are advised to wear masks as well, and possibly gloves, as well in accordance with Centers for Disease Control guidelines. Exceptions are made in cases where coverings could cause health concerns, such as someone working over a flame or with certain types of machinery.
Should an essential business choose to waive the requirement of a facial covering, the order said, they must include an opt-out statement to have on their records.
Delivery drivers are also required to wear masks if there is going to be a person-to-person exchange.
Anyone entering or entering the common area of a residential building with more than two units — like a lobby — is also ordered to wear a mask and exercise social distancing.
Businesses are also required to post signs notifying employees and customers that they are required to wear masks and maintain social distancing.