NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Face masks mandated in Massachusetts

On May 6, the use of mandatory masks took effect throughout the state of Massachusetts. The order, executed by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Barker, requires residents to wear a face covering in public places when they cannot socially distance themselves. The request applies to all employees, customers and public transport companies that are open to the public. Companies can deny entry to customers who refused to wear masks. People who show no symptoms of illness may still be able to spread COVID-19.  
Covering your face can help prevent you from spreading COVID-19 to others or from getting the virus yourself. A face covering can include anything that covers your nose and mouth, including dust masks, scarves and bandanas. If you need more information about what type of masks you should wear or other methods to protect yourself, you can find it on mass.gov. 
The governor’s executive request does not apply to children under the age of 2 years-old or to anyone who cannot wear a mask due to medical conditions or other exemptions issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  
Freddy Rodriguez, 48, a jewelry maker says, “I think it’s great that even children have to use a face mask. I have two young children, ages 4 and 7, and I was concerned that many parents would not be concerned for their children against COVID-19.” Rodriguez ended saying, “The last time I went for a walk with my children there were many parents with their children who did not respect the protection methods.”  
In addition to wearing a mask, you should continue to practice methods to protect yourself such as social distancing, washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, cleaning things that are frequently touched, etc.  
Francis Garcia, 42, says, “The new order established for all citizens of the state of Massachusetts seems perfect to me. We must take action so that the same thing that happened in many states, doesn’t occur to us, for example, New Jersey or New York.”
Garcia also says, “Very often I take the bus to transport myself, and many people don’t take the virus seriously. It seems good to me that now it is mandatory to use it even when you are in the bus or train.” 
Many people who support this new measure are also calling for other types of methods to be used, such as wearing gloves.  
Edwin Martinez, 30, says, “Many times when you go to the supermarket you see that many people do not wear gloves or take social distancing seriously. He goes on, “I hope people take good measures on wearing gloves. Because when you buy at the supermarket you don’t know who touched the product or if the person who touched it has COVID-19.” 
Massachusetts residents are also urged to stay home as much as possible. People who violate the order of using a mask could be fined $300.