WASHINGTON, July 22 (Xinhua) — Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Wednesday issued an executive order that requires residents to wear masks outside their homes.
“Basically what it says is, if you leave home, you should wear a mask,” Bowser told reporters during a press conference.
The order, which includes fines of up to 1,000 U.S. dollars per violation, won’t be enforced on children under the age of three, people who are actively eating or drinking, and those who are vigorously exercising outdoors without being close to anyone else.
Bowser also said she will extend the city’s state of emergency.
The U.S. capital has seen an increase in coronavirus infections as the city moves towards further reopening.
The city reported 102 new cases on Wednesday, the highest surge in a single day since early June, bringing its total caseload to 11,529.
In addition to the U.S. capital, some 40 states and Puerto Rico now have some type of mask requirement order in place.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said Wednesday that everyone in the Buckeye State must wear a mask in public.
“Wearing masks will make a difference,” DeWine tweeted. “It will determine what our fall looks like. We want kids to go back to school, we want to see sports — to do that it’s very important that all Ohioans wear a mask.”
U.S. President Donald Trump, who has shifted his tones on masks and the coronavirus pandemic, told reporters at the White House on Wednesday that his strategy “is to shelter the highest-risk Americans, while allowing younger and healthier citizens to return to work or school while being careful and very vigilant.”
“Wear a mask, socially distance, and repeatedly wash your hands,” he added.
As of late Wednesday night, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States neared 4 million with more than 143,000 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Enditem