Per the Governor’s amended Executive Order put forth on September 1, 2020, the face covering order remains in effect. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that spreads easily from person to person and may result in serious illness or death. The State of Maryland Coronavirus Recovery Team has continuously advised that widespread use of Face Coverings is likely to help control the spread of COVID-19.
The County recognizes there may be citizens that are unable to wear face coverings due to a medical condition. Individuals unable to wear a face covering while in a public setting are encouraged to make alternative accommodations i.e. curbside pick-up, carry-out, online ordering, telehealth appointments, etc. Businesses can make accommodations with customers who are unable to wear a face covering, however, it is up to the business to comply with the executive order and prioritize the health and safety of their employees. Persons medically unable to wear a face covering should not expect to enter places which require face coverings as outlined in Executive Orders and Health Orders because of the potential risk to their own health and others. These individuals may need to utilize curbside pickup, delivery services, and depend on others who can wear face coverings. As we have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must join together to fight against this disease. This may require leaning on a family member, friend or neighbor to help complete tasks that were once routine pre-COVID-19. We care about the health of every citizen in Washington County and are striving to keep the health and safety of the entire community at the forefront while we continue the fight against COVID-19.
Please see the section from Governor Hogan’s executive order regarding Face Coverings below. The full executive order can be viewed here
IV. Face Coverings.
a. Definitions. As used herein:
i. “Face Covering” means a covering that fully covers a person’s nose and mouth and is secured to the person’s head, but is not a Medical-Grade Mask. The term “Face Covering” includes, without limitation, scarves, bandanas, and plastic full-face shields.
ii. “Medical-Grade Mask” means an N95, KN95, surgical, or other mask that would be appropriate for a health care setting.
iii. “Public Transportation” means shared-ride surface transportation services that are open to the general public, including without limitation, taxi services, ride-sharing services, car services, transit services provided by any other unit of the State or any political subdivision, and all related stations and platforms. Examples of Public Transportation include, but are not limited to MTA bus service, MARC train service, Light Rail train service, MTA Metro subway service, and Mobility and Paratransit services.
b. Requirement to Wear Face Coverings.
i. Except as provided in paragraph IV.c, all persons in Maryland over the age of five (5) years old are required to wear a Face Covering when they are:
1. in or on any Public Transportation; – 10 –
2. indoors at any location where members of the public are generally permitted, including without limitation, Religious Facilities, Retail Establishments, Foodservice Establishments, Fitness Centers, Gaming Facilities, Indoor Recreation Establishments, Personal Services Establishments, and Indoor Theaters;
3. outdoors and unable to consistently maintain at least six feet of distance from individuals who are not members of their household;
4. obtaining healthcare services, including without limitation, in offices of physicians and dentists, hospitals, pharmacies, and laboratories; and
5. engaged in work in any area where:
a. interaction with others is likely, including without limitation, in shared areas of commercial offices; or
b. food is prepared or packaged.
ii. Single-use Face Coverings shall be properly discarded in trash receptacles. It is recommended that all reusable Face Coverings be cleaned frequently (at least once per day).
iii. Wearing a Medical-Grade Mask satisfies any requirement in paragraph IV.b.i to wear a Face Covering, but all Marylanders are urged to reserve Medical-Grade Masks for use by health care workers and first responders.
c. Exceptions. Paragraph IV.b.i does not require persons to wear Face Coverings:
i. if, due to a bona fide disability or medical condition, it would be unsafe for the person to do so;
ii. to the extent wearing a Face Covering would impede communication by or with persons who have a hearing impairment or other disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
iii. if wearing a Face Covering would subject the person to an unsafe working condition, as determined by federal, state, or local occupational safety regulators or workplace safety guidelines;
iv. to the extent wearing a Face Covering would make it impossible to receive services requiring access to the face, mouth, or head, including without limitation, dental care, shaving, and facial treatments;
v. while consuming food or beverages; vi. while swimming or engaging in other physical activities where the use of a – 11 – Face Covering is likely to pose a bona fide safety risk; or
vii. while operating any Public Transportation conveyance, provided that the person is (1) the sole operator of the conveyance, and (2) located in a separate compartment that is off-limits to riders.