Citizens react to Governor Northam’s statewide mask mandate

Published: May. 26, 2020 at 10:44 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Governor Northam is mandating everyone in Virginia to wear face masks in public beginning Friday. The rule does come with some exceptions, and people have mixed feelings about it.

"You should be wearing a mask," Citizen Autumn Branch said.

“I am taking this step because science increasingly shows us that the virus spreads less easily when everyone is wearing face coverings,” said Governor Northam.

Everyone over the age of 10 will have to wear masks at all brick and mortar stores, personal care facilities, and public transportation. They will also be required at the state and government buildings and entertainment establishments when they reopen.

“I think it has to be for your safety and as well as someone else's, as well as if someone was sick that has to wear one - protect yourself from that person,” Citizen Tilwana Terrell said.

The exceptions apply to children under the age of 10 or people with health conditions. It also applies when people are out eating or drinking and exercising.

“They shouldn't be opening any sit-down restaurants, they shouldn't be opening anything until they find a cure for this, it's not funny,” Branch said.

One woman says she understands promoting safety, but still thinks wearing a mask should not be a requirement.

“I guess they can enforce wearing masks, but I think it’s a little much,” Citizen Eleanor Carey said.

Northam says the order will be enforced by the Virginia Department of Health, not law enforcement. He says the goal is to educate, not punish.

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