A pair of Chicago suburbs have joined the growing list of towns and cities requiring face coverings to be worn in public as officials look to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
On Wednesday night, the city of North Chicago and the village of La Grange Park both announced new executive orders requiring individuals to wear facial coverings while going out in public.
In North Chicago, all individuals over the age of five years old will be required to wear facial coverings beginning on Friday morning.
“Requiring the use of face coverings in public is a necessary step to keep the residents of our community safe,” Mayor Leon Rockingham Jr. said in a statement. “The city of North Chicago has been hit especially hard by the coronavirus, and this action follows the guidance of state and federal health officials.”
According to the press release, between 155 and 159 cases of the virus have been reported in the city.
Facial coverings in North Chicago must cover the nose and mouth of those entering businesses and other public areas. The masks can be made of cloth or other materials that can “restrict the breath, sneeze, cough or other exhaling from one’s nose or mouth,” according to the executive order.
The executive order gives local businesses the right to refuse service to anyone not complying with the order. The order officially goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday.
In La Grange Park, the order will go into effect on Monday, April 27 at 8 a.m.
All individuals over the age of five years old must wear facial coverings while working in or patronizing essential businesses, according to the order.
The order also applies to the use of public transportation, taxis, and rideshare vehciles.
“We owe it to each other to help prevent the spread of this disease,” La Grange Park Village President Jim Discipio said in a statement. “Wearing a physical mask when entering a business is a simple task that we can all do to demonstrate we care for the well-being and safety of one another.”
In both municipalities, facial coverings aren’t required when engaged in outdoor physical activity (as long as the activity is being performed with appropriate social distancing), or when riding in a personal vehicle.
At least 11 other suburbs are requiring facial coverings, including Evanston and Oak Lawn, which joined the growing list of communities on Monday. Officials in Chicago have yet to make wearing masks mandatory, and Governor J.B. Pritzker has also not mandated their use.