BROOKLINE, MA — Brookline is telling residents and visitors who cannot mask up to shield up instead.
Brookline Health Commissioner Dr. Swannie Jett announced that beginning Sept. 10 those who are either unable or unwilling to wear a cloth face covering in public spaces and businesses are required to wear a face shield instead. The shield must cover the nose and mouth.
"We are pleased with the level of cooperation with the existing face covering requirement," Dr. Jett said. "However, it is important to reinforce the need for a protective layer that limits the possibility of spreading the coronavirus — as a cloth face covering does — while ensuring people with medical limitations are protecting those around them from COVID-19 without jeopardizing their own wellness."
The order is designed for those with legitimate medical conditions that make cloth mask wearing difficult, but also closes a loophole where those who simply did not want to wear a mask claimed a medical condition to exempt them from the regulation.
Those who violate the order are subject to a $50 fine.
Brookline was one of the first communities in the state to require masks in public and businesses shortly after the start of the health crisis, with the state following suit a few weeks later.
The state order remains in effect and requires that:
All establishment staff must wear protective face covering, gloves and eye protection during all service in the establishment.
All establishments are required to install temporary Plexiglas type barriers at customer service counter areas. If employees stay behind Plexiglas at all times eye wear isn’t required.
All entry doors must be posted – advising customers that face covering and social Distancing (6 foot separation) must be maintained.
Establishments must increase employee illness surveillance by continuing to ask if staff have been exposed to COVID-19, ensuring employees don’t come to work while ill and taking a daily temperature reading of employees at the start of each work shift.