Governor Charlie Baker has issued a statewide order requiring anyone over the age of two, and not otherwise exempted, to wear a clean face covering over their mouth and nose when they are in public and cannot be at least six feet from others.
This order goes into effect on Wednesday, May 6, 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
►Do I need to wear a face covering when I go out?
Effective May 6, 2020, anyone over two years old and not otherwise exempt per the Governor’s order must wear a clean face covering, such as a fabric mask, scarf, or bandana, over their mouth and nose when they are in public and cannot be at least six feet away from others
►Who is exempt from needing to wear a face covering?
Face coverings should not be placed on children less than 2 years old, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who cannot remove the covering without assistance. People with other medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask may be exempt.
You do not need to carry a doctor’s note with you if you have an underlying health issue.
►Why do I need to wear a face covering?
It is now understood that the virus can spread between people who are interacting in close proximity, even if neither person is showing symptoms. Wearing a cloth face covering can help reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.
Social distancing remains the most effective way to slow the spread of the virus, so it is still important to remain at least 6 feet away from people who are not part of your household, even when wearing a face covering.
►What should I do if I see someone who isn’t wearing a face covering in public?
If you see someone in public without a face covering, it could be due to an underlying health issue. Please do not make assumptions about others. Current regulations do not require a person to wear a mask if they can maintain social distancing.
If you're outside, we recommend you keep at least 6 feet of distance from someone without a mask. If you're inside an establishment open to the public, and someone isn't wearing a mask, please direct concerns to the manager on-duty.
Please do not call 911 to report individuals who are not wearing face masks.The Police and Town officials will be educating members of the public about the face covering requirement and enforcing the requirement when necessary.
Please leave monitoring and enforcement to public officials.
►Where can I get a mask or face covering? Can I make my own?
First, we strongly suggest not wearing N95 respirators or surgical masks. Those masks should be saved for healthcare workers.
The CDC offers guidance on how to make your own cloth mask, whether or not you know how to sew.
There also are community groups who are helping get masks to those in need. Priority goes to those aged 60+ and frontline workers.
- The Chinese American Association of Lexington is taking orders online, and by phone at (339) 970-8550.
- You can also contact the Coalition Mask Network via email, a community group organized to get masks to those in need, or are unable to access or afford a cloth mask. These masks are hand made by volunteers.
►Should I wear a face covering while exercising outdoors?
Yes. If you’re exercising anywhere outside of private property, there’s a chance you will have to pass someone else. Masks must be worn where social distancing isn’t possible.
►How should I clean my cloth face covering?
Cloth face coverings should be cleaned frequently, ideally after each use, and can be cleaned and dried with your other laundry. Cloth face coverings can also be hand washed with detergent and water in the sink if needed. Cloth face coverings should be fully dry before using again.
►My children don’t like wearing the masks. What advice do you have?
If your children are not excited about wearing a face covering, consider trying one of these tips:
- Explain that wearing a face covering is important to help keep their neighbors and community safe. There is a lot that is out of our control during this pandemic, but we can all do our part to wear a face covering to help keep our community safe.
- For kids that are worried about wearing a face covering, try practicing wearing face coverings at home first to get them more comfortable with the idea.
- Make it fun - Have your child choose or decorate their face covering to make it something that feels more personalized and positive. Show pictures of other kids wearing masks. Encourage them to make a face covering for a favorite doll or stuffed animal.
- Model good behavior - Set a good example by always wearing your own face covering when in public.
- Set clear boundaries - Empathize with them, but stay firm in the rules.