Montgomery Co. requiring masks, face coverings in stores starting Monday

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County officials issued an order Thursday evening, mandating masks or face coverings for those heading out to grocery stores, pharmacies and large retail stores. The order goes into effect on Monday, April 13.

“Never in my lifetime did I think I would see anything like this– having to go to the grocery store and walk certain ways up and down the aisle and wear a mask. It’s very very surreal,” said Trish Capone after a shopping trip at the Safeway grocery store in Damascus.

Capone says she fears she’ll bring the virus home to her children after making trips to the grocery store.

“I’m trying not to be scared, not to be driven by fear, I’m trying to be optimistic,” said Terrence Brown. “I really believe that this too shall pass.”

Not only are there new requirements for store patrons, the county handed down new regulations for businesses, too.

Also starting Monday, grocery stores and large retailers will have to limit the number of people allowed inside and those who have to wait outside have to maintain a social distance in line.

Businesses have to allow employees to wear masks and gloves on the job, wash their hands often, promote social distancing and stay on top of cleaning and sanitation procedures. Businesses that violate the order face a $500 fine for the first violation and a $750 fine for subsequent violations.

County officials did not specify when the new regulations might end.

There is currently no fine, criminal or civil penalty for residents who violate the county’s order. However, businesses may turn away customers who don’t comply.

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