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Mandatory Face Mask Order Takes Effect In Massachusetts Wednesday

BOSTON (CBS) - The face coverings or masks that are already mandatory in many communities will go statewide on Wednesday. "I think that $300 fine will get people to pay attention," said Beverly Tucker as she finished up her grocery shopping in Allston Tuesday.

The overwhelming majority of folks seem to be paying attention, with only a small percentage not wearing masks already.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

"Most people will comply," said Boston resident Clark Warner. "In the spirit of helping each other out and making sure we're all healthy, I think almost everyone is going to do this and we're not going to need any fine."

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Governor Charlie Baker was touring an old factory Tuesday, retooled and staffed by eighth generation family owners in 40 short days, to churn out 700,000 isolation gowns per week -- critical PPE for this pandemic and beyond -- all homemade in Fall River.

Charlie Merrow is part of that family. "This is where industries that long ago thought they'd been left for dead -- are now vital," said the co-owner.

For almost a week now, new Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and ICU visits have all ticked downward.

"We need to see these numbers continue to fall," said Govenor Baker.

So Wednesday -- May 6 -- wearing a mask anywhere there's uncertainty about social distancing is required -- statewide.

"Partially to protect yourself from others," said the governor. "But mostly to protect others from you."

Local police have said their enforcement approach will be to educate and urge.

"We don't want to give a citation," said Newton Police Lt. Bruce Apotheker. "But if they're not heeding our warnings -- if we can't reason with somebody -- that's always a tool."

Clearly there will be gray areas as this plays out. But Newton Police suggest that if you're heading out for a seemingly solitary jog, plan ahead.

"Have that mask with you because you just never know who you're going to run in to," said Lt. Apotheker.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

The governor said he's confident almost everyone will comply.

And Beverly Tucker -- who lost a cousin to Covid-19 -- agrees.

"I try to believe the best in people," she says through her face covering. "I hope people will get it that this is really serious."

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