Masks must be worn by customers, employees under new state health order

Ron Musselman
York Dispatch

Most customers and employees at businesses still operating in Pennsylvania will soon be required to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus under a new state health order.

Requirements will be enforced starting at 8 p.m. Sunday.

“I am ordering certain actions to be taken by employers and their employees to protect their health and lives, the health and lives of their families and the health and lives of the residents of the Commonwealth who depend upon their services,” Dr. Rachel Levine, the state health secretary, said in a news release Wednesday.  

“Special consideration is required to protect not only customers but the workers needed to run and operate these establishments.”

Nina Gurreri of York City wears a protective mask while waiting in line at a walk-through area during a food distribution at the York County Food Bank Friday, March 20, 2020. The food bank modified its distribution program to minimize human contact during the Coronavirus pandemic. The majority of distribution was made via drive-thru service. Bill Kalina photo

Among the stipulations, employers must require employees to wear masks while at the work site and require customers to wear masks while on the premises.

Businesses also must "deny entry to individuals not wearing masks, unless the company is providing medication, medical supplies or food. In those cases, the business must offer alternative options, like pick-up or delivery of goods,” the release said.

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Exceptions include people who cannot wear a mask because of a medical condition and children under 2 years of age.

Companies must either provide employees the coverings or approve a mask obtained or made by workers that meets guidance from the state Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the release said.

Employees do not have to use the mask during a break to eat or drink.

The order also limits the number of people allowed inside a business to half of its official occupancy limit.

Businesses that fail to comply could face citations, fines or license suspensions, the release said.

Gov. Tom Wolf's stay at home order for Pennsylvania runs through April 30.

— Ron Musselman can be reached at rmusselman@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8.

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