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New Durham rule requires masks in stores and on public transit

Durham city and county officials issued a joint order Friday night with the following requirement for masks, effective Monday. The rule:

Requires people to wear a clean face covering any time they are or will be in contact with other people who are not household members in public or private spaces where it is not possible to maintain social distance such as grocery stories, pharmacies, business location and public transit. While wearing the face covering, it is essential to still maintain social distance insofar as possible since social distancing is the best defense against the spread of Coronavirus.
The rule says that, “While face coverings are required, no one will be removed from or denied entry to public transit for failure to wear a face covering. A face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or snaps or wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk or linens. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.” It takes effect Monday, April 20 at midnight.
“It’s very important that everyone wears a mask, or some sort of facial covering, when out in public, but especially in places where social distancing is difficult,” said Durham Mayor Steve Schewel. “While it doesn’t take the place of social distancing, wearing facial covering certainly plays a big part in reducing the spread of the virus.”
At top: A Durham Public Schools employee wore a mask while handing out lunches at Glenn Elementary School on Friday. Photo by Corey Pilson.