Greensboro issues emergency proclamation requiring face masks in public

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The city of Greensboro announced Monday it will require people to wear face masks while out in public within city limits starting Tuesday at 5 p.m.

The city said Mayor Nancy Vaughan issued an emergency proclamation requiring face coverings to be worn anytime a person will be in contact with other people in public or private spaces where it is not possible to maintain proper social distancing.

“These places include grocery stores, pharmacies, business locations, parking lots, sidewalks, and public transit,” the city said in a press release.

Officials said the new requirement is in response to COVID-19 and in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The city defined a face covering as a material that covers the nose and mouth and can be secured with ties or straps, or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen.

“A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels,” the city said.

Officials said acceptable, reusable face covering options for the general public include: 

  • bandanas
  • neck gaiters
  • homemade face coverings
  • scarves
  • tightly woven fabric such as cotton t-shirts and certain types of towels

The city said you are not required to wear a face mask while exercising alone outdoors, or while walking or exercising with other people from the same household, if social distance from others is maintained.

City officials said all restaurant, personal care, grooming, tattoo, and retail employees and staff are to wear a face covering while on duty and recommends all businesses require customers to wear a face covering while inside a business.

The city of Greensboro said face coverings are not required:

  • For those who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition.
  • For children under 12-years-old.
  • For restaurant patrons while they are dining.
  • In private, individual offices.
  • When complying with directions of law enforcement officers.
  • In settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering, including when obtaining or rendering goods or services, such as the receipt of dental services or while swimming.
  • While with members of a family or the same household.
  • For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering.

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