The CDC issued nationwide guidance that the public should wear cloth face masks while out in public spaces where social distance is hard to maintain. However, some cities and counties in the D.C. area are going further to try and prevent the virus’ spread.
Across all jurisdictions, masks or face coverings should only be worn by people above the age of two and those who are able to take the covering off themselves. Otherwise, the covering could be a breathing hazard.
Cloth face masks and coverings can include bandanas, scarfs or other household materials fashioned so they'll stay on your face. Medical masks, including N95s, should be reserved for workers in high-risk jobs.
Cloth face masks should be worn in public spaces where social distance is difficult to maintain. It is strongly recommended that you wear a face mask on the Metro or bus, when visiting a health provider’s office, if you have any respiratory symptoms or if you have come in contact or are caring for someone who is suspected of exposure to COVID-19. Grocery store employees are required to wear masks. The general public should only use homemade or store-bought cloth masks, and reserve surgical masks and respirators for medical staff and first responders.
Additionally, starting Wednesday, D.C. now requires masks to be worn in ride-sharing vehicles, taxis and hotels.
Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that starting at 7 a.m. Saturday, masks or face coverings will be required in all Maryland grocery stores and pharmacies and on public transportation.
The order came after numerous counties started requiring masking. While it is smart to start wearing a mask in public immediately, here are the guidelines you need to follow until Saturday:
Anne Arundel County: Retail customers and employees are required to wear cloth face coverings. People with symptoms are required to stay at home and wear a mask when interacting with others. If you are non-symptomatic and must leave your home for essential purposes, you are strongly encouraged to wear a mask any time you are in public.
Calvert County: Customers should wear face coverings in grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and all retail establishments. Cloth masks or coverings are acceptable to be used as face coverings. Retailers should purchase masks for employees and encourage them to wear them.
Frederick County: Masks or face coverings are required at retail businesses.
Montgomery County: Retail shoppers are required to wear masks or face coverings. Businesses must provide masks to all employees, and are subject to fines if they do not meet requirements. Although there is no civil or criminal penalty for shoppers who do not use face coverings, businesses have the right to turn away customers.
Prince George’s County: Face coverings are required to enter retail stores or to board public transit.
St. Mary’s County: Cloth face coverings are required in retail stores and public transit. Employees of essential retail and others are required to mask, with employers providing masks. Masks are not required for customers using drive-thrus or curbside pickup.
Washington County: The county encourages that CDC recommendations for the general public and FDA best practices for retail establishments are followed.
Coronavirus Cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia
COVID-19 cases by population in D.C. and by county in Maryland and Virginia
City of Alexandria: Cloth face coverings should be worn in public and washed consistently per CDC guidelines.
Arlington County: Cloth face coverings are encouraged when in public per CDC guidelines.
Culpeper County: The county recommends that CDC guidelines are followed.
City of Fairfax: The city is following the Fairfax County Health Department’s lead. Face coverings are encouraged in public.
Fairfax County: CDC guidelines on face masking should be followed.
City of Falls Church: Cloth face coverings should be worn in public per CDC guidelines.
Fauquier County: Cloth face coverings should be worn in public per CDC guidelines.
City of Fredericksburg: Cloth face coverings should be worn in public per CDC guidelines.
Loudoun County: Face coverings are required for those with symptoms when around others. CDC guidelines should be followed.
City of Manassas: CDC and Virginia Department of Health guidelines should be followed.
City of Manassas Park: CDC and Virginia Department of Health guidelines should be followed.
Prince William County: Cloth face coverings should be worn in public per CDC guidelines.
Spotsylvania County: Cloth face coverings should be worn in public per CDC and Virginia Department of Health guidelines. Stafford County: Cloth face coverings should be worn in public per CDC guidelines.