Mass. officials urging all residents to wear masks when social distancing isn’t possible

BOSTON — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie has extended the state’s stay at home advisory through Monday, May 18. The advisory was originally set to expire on Monday, May 4. The decision was announced at Gov. Baker’s Tuesday afternoon press conference.

In addition to the advisory extension, Gov. Baker also announced that the state’s closure of non-essential businesses will also be extended through Monday, May 18.

Anyone two or older not covering their face where social distancing is a challenge could face up to a $300 fine, enforced locally.

“You cannot always stay six feet away and even if you can stay six feet away especially if you’re inside, you probably should have a face covering on,” said Baker. “If everyone is wearing a mask it’ll dramatically reduce the possibility of spread.”

South Boston and the Fenway area are just some of the places Mayor Marty Walsh fears are experiencing higher positive COVID-19 rates because people are not wearing masks.

“We saw higher rates in South Boston,” said Walsh. “I got a lot of complaints about people running on the beach and walking on the beach with no face masks. If you’re a millennial and you don’t want to wear a mask because it doesn’t look cool, I really don’t care about that.”

Cool or not, by May 6th it won’t matter. Governor Baker says he discourages residents from using medical grade mask as those should be prioritized for healthcare workers and first responders.

But for everyone else you can use a bandanna, T-shirt or other breathable fabrics. Disposable masks are also an option.

With the weather slowly warming up and a few more people out and about, we wanted to do a visual survey to see who is wearing masks and who’s not.

On Carson Beach we found a lot of people running and walking their dogs, unfortunately most people we found were not wearing masks. However on Boylston Street near Fenway, almost everyone we came across was wearing a mask.

“There are still too many reports of people going into grocery stores and coffee shops without masks particularly younger people,” said Walsh. “I don’t know what to say about that other than you are not helping yourself and your not helping the people delivering services to you.”

The map below shows cities and towns who had approved orders requiring at least some members of the public to cover their faces when in public spaces prior to Baker’s new public health order.

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