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Baltimore Mayor Young issues executive order advising residents wear face coverings amid coronavirus pandemic

Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young encouraged residents Wednesday to wear a face covering in public, and especially at grocery stores. In this April 5, 2020, photo, an employee at H Mart supermarket in Catonsville wears a mask and gloves.
Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young encouraged residents Wednesday to wear a face covering in public, and especially at grocery stores. In this April 5, 2020, photo, an employee at H Mart supermarket in Catonsville wears a mask and gloves. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore residents are encouraged to wear a face covering in public, and especially at grocery stores, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said Wednesday.

The mayor issued an executive order endorsing the use of masks or other facial coverings “as much as possible” to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

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He didn’t go as far as some Maryland county executives, who recently moved to require people to wear face coverings while inside essential businesses. Anne Arundel County, for example, on Tuesday ordered anyone shopping or working at an essential retail business to cover their face with a mask or risk being fined $500.

The Baltimore City Council on Monday passed a resolution urging the mayor to make face coverings mandatory.

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Young cautioned that not every city resident is able to afford a mask, nor is the city in a position to provide them.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended people wear cloth face coverings, which can be made at home, when they go to potentially crowded places.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks recently signed an order requiring everyone shopping in county grocery stores or other large shops to wear masks. The measure also applies to riders on the county bus system.

Officials in Montgomery County and Washington, D.C., issued similar edicts.

Young’s order goes into effect immediately. Given that he is advising but not requiring masks, there appears to be no punishment for those who don’t wear them.

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