Miami orders customers and workers to wear masks at all times in stores and pharmacies

Authorities in Miami said Tuesday that anyone working at or visiting businesses — including grocery stores — must wear a mask or other face coverings at “all times.”

The order, which is set to begin at midnight, requires employees and customers in grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies and convenience stores to wear masks while on the premises. The new mandate also extends to construction and food delivery workers.

The city’s decision to implement the mandate comes after a similar recommendation issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the state of Florida has at least 15,456 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 309 deaths, according to CNN’s latest tally of US deaths, which is based on data from Johns Hopkins University.

In March, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez tested positive for coronavirus, his spokesperson said. On Wednesday, he shared the city’s order on Twitter. “We need to protect each other!” he wrote in the tweet. “We will win this!”

Both the CDC and Miami officials suggest people refrain from using N95 respirators and surgical masks, as health care workers on the frontlines of the pandemic face shortages.

Instead, the CDC recommends people make their own facemasks, using cloth. Cloth face coverings, the CDC says on its website, should “fit snugly; be secured with ties or ear loops; include multiple layers of fabric; allow for breathing without restriction; and be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.”

The City of Miami is asking people to cover both their noses and mouths with face masks and homemade cloth masks, including scarves, bandanas and handkerchiefs.

Other cities have taken similar measures.

Earlier this week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an order urging all employees and customers of essential businesses to wear face coverings.

Garcetti said the order was enacted “to take care of those who are taking care of us.”


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