With no hearings and little notice, several Maryland counties and the District of Columbia have announced mandatory requirements for the use of face masks by both customers and employees at certain essential businesses. Most of these requirements only apply to retail establishments, but many of our members do operate retail facilities and/or may be making deliveries to retail stores. Depending on your operations, some of your employees may be covered under these orders. Several other jurisdictions, including Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County and Frederick County are expected to issue similar orders soon.
Courtesy of the Mid-Atlantic Petroleum Distributors Association, the list below includes a brief description of who is covered in each jurisdiction and a link to the actual order.
Anne Arundel County:
All customers and employees of retail essential businesses are required to wear face masks or coverings. Stores are limited to 50% of normal customer capacity and must make aisles one-way wherever possible, among other restrictions. Effective April 15. www.mdtrucking.org/files/AnneArundel.pdf
All customers in grocery stores, pharmacies, retail establishments, and on the bus transit system are required to wear masks or face coverings. Employers must allow staff to wash hands a minimum of every 30 minutes. Effective April 15. www.mdtrucking.org/files/Charles.pdf
Customers are required to wear face masks in grocery stores, pharmacies, and large chain retail stores. Employers must allow staff to wash hands a minimum of every 30 minutes. The order does not cover service stations, but does cover retail stores that sell food. Effective April 13.
Prince George’s County:
All patrons in County grocery stores, pharmacies, large chain retail establishments, and on the bus transit system are required to wear masks or face coverings. Stores are required to promote social distancing inside and outside their establishments. Effective 4/15/20. A revision is expected that will cover all essential services. www.mdtrucking.org/files/PrinceGeorges.pdf
District of Columbia:
Requires social distancing protocols at indoor retail food sellers, including convenience stores, and installation of clear dividers between workers and the public by April 20. http://www.mdtrucking.org/files/DC.pdf
To be clear, these orders do not require medical masks. They generally require face coverings without any other specification. Under many of these orders the employers are obligated to provide masks or coverings to their employees. However, this is virtually impossible as masks/face coverings are extremely difficult to obtain, particularly on short notice. There are numerous videos online that show how you can make a face covering out of a t-shirt, cloth, or similar product using rubber bands. Because compliance will be extremely difficult, if your employees are covered under one of the orders above, MMTA suggests you encourage them to use a homemade product until other options are more readily available.
Masks Available for ATA Members.
The American Trucking Associations has obtained a limited supply of masks that it is offering first-come, first-serve if you are an ATA member. The cost is $3.50 per mask. You must buy them in quantities of 100.