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Masks must be worn in public in Michigan, Whitmer order says

Under the order, no one will be subject to criminal penalty for going without a mask.

LANSING, Mich. — Under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's revised stay at home order, which extends the restrictions until May 15, it also mandates that Michiganders must wear masks in public enclosed spaces. 

Starting April 26 at 11:59 p.m., anyone who can "medically tolerate a face covering" must cover their nose and mouth with a homemade mask, scarf, bandana or handkerchief when in an enclosed public space.

"People won’t have to wear face coverings when they’re taking a walk in the neighborhood, but when they go to the grocery store, they should be wearing one," Whitmer said. 

Read the full executive order here. 

All businesses that are conducting in-person work, are required to provide face coverings for their employees. 

The supply of N95 masks and surgical masks should be reserved for health care professionals, first responders and other critical workers, the order says. 

"We want you to have a cloth based covering, and it can be made through an old t-shirt," Whitmer said. "It can be made with a handkerchief or a neckerchief. There are a lot of ways to do this. But just to cover your faces is one important step in addition to that six-foot radius."

Under the order, no one will be subject to criminal penalty for going without a mask, the governor's office said. However, Whitmer said that stores can refuse service to people who are not wearing masks. 

"There are some grocery stores that are saying if you don't have a mask, you can't come in," Whitmer said in Friday morning's briefing. "That is a practice that protects both their employees and the public." 

Meijer, a Midwest grocery store chain, said it is asking all of its customers to wear masks when going to their stores. 

"While the state of Michigan is now requiring everyone to wear a mask when visiting retail stores, we are asking all customers throughout the Midwest to please wear masks while visiting their local Meijer," said a statement from a company representative. 

Whitmer said that wearing a mask is not a substitute for practicing safe social distancing. But when out in public, people need to wear a mask and remain six feet apart.

"We need people to wear masks to wear them properly, and to observe the six feet safe distance. All of these are things that need to be observed," Whitmer said. 

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