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Poloncarz issues emergency order on use of face masks


Thu, Apr 9th 2020 03:10 pm

Prohibits establishments from preventing entry, refusing service to anyone not wearing a face covering

Prohibits employers from preventing their employees from wearing face coverings, gloves

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz on Thursday issued a local emergency order regarding the usage of face coverings and masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended wearing cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus as an additional public health measure along with social distancing, frequent hand washing, and other preventive actions.

This emergency order prohibits any establishment in Erie County from preventing entry or refusing service to those patrons who choose to wear cloth face coverings or masks, and also prohibits all employers from preventing the use of cloth face coverings or masks by their employees.

“We had been informed that some retailers and grocers elsewhere were not allowing patrons to wear masks while inside their stores and that some businesses in Erie County were also prohibiting their employees from wearing masks even if they wanted to. As the CDC has recommended wearing face masks to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, everyone in Erie County should be able to wear such a mask where and when they desire, especially if going into places frequented by the public,” Poloncarz said. “All employers should also allow any employee who wants to wear a mask or gloves while on duty to do so, and should also provide their employees access and opportunity to wash their hands frequently in an effort to reduce the spread.

“We are all in this together and we should all act to protect public health.”

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