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Coronavirus Pennsylvania: Face Masks Now Mandatory For Customers, Employees Inside Essential Businesses

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- For essential workers, every day on the job is a risk -- that's why the state of Pennsylvania is doing what it can to protect them and the public they're serving. Face masks are now mandatory for people doing business in the state.

Employees will have to wear face coverings, too, including those who work in warehouses, manufacturing facilities and other places that remain in business but aren't open to the public.

The order also applies to customers and employees inside supermarkets and pharmacies. The order does not apply to health care providers or those medically unable to wear a mask.

People have generally been following recommendations to wear face masks to complete essential tasks like going to the grocery store, but now it's a requirement.

"I think the good it's doing benefits everybody. It's not a lot to ask to wear a face mask. It's slightly uncomfortable, but I think it's a good idea," a Philadelphia man said.

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Businesses are asked to require customers to wear masks when they are on the property.

"Having to sort of police that to get in the middle of a customer entering a store, that's a concern," Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association President Alex Baloga said.

Baloga says he is worried about the state now mandating businesses to supply their employees with masks.

"A lot of the PPE equipment is in short supply," he said. "Our members trying to follow directive as best as they can."

Under the order, employees must wear a face covering at all times except to eat or drink.

Philadelphia's South 9th Street Business Association says its members are prepared to continue fighting the spread of the coronavirus.


"The more we can do for everyone's safety, the better," Danielle Renzulli, the association's president, said.

Failure to comply with these requirements will result in an enforcement action that could include citations, fines or license suspensions.

The order went into effect 8 p.m. on Sunday.

There are currently 32,284 coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania, including 1,112 deaths.

CBS3's Crystal Cranmore contributed to this report.

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