Bill Steinhart, of Lancaster Township, wisely wears a cloth mask as he leaves Giant Food Store on Columbia Avenue on Friday, April 3. State and federal officials now advise Americans to wear masks when they leave their homes to slow the spread of COVID-19 infection.

Gov. Tom Wolf and Pa. Department of Health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine ordered that all workers and customers at essential businesses are required to wear masks starting Sunday, April 19, at 8 p.m.

Businesses that observe customers not wearing masks are ordered to turn away the customer. 

If a business does not comply with this order, and several other orders included in the new worker safety protocol, they could incur citations and fines.

"Recognizing that certain life-sustaining businesses in the Commonwealth must remain open despite the need for strong mitigation to slow the spread of the virus, I am ordering certain actions to be taken by employers and their employees to protect their health and lives, the health and lives of their families, and the health and lives of the residents of the Commonwealth who depend upon their services," said Dr. Levine in the order on April 15.

Gov. Tom Wolf ordered that it was essential for employees and shoppers to wear masks inside stores. Do you agree with the decision?

You voted:

In addition to the new mask protocol, Dr. Levine also set up the following protections for workers in essential businesses:

- Employers must provide masks for employees to wear during business hours

- New protocols for what to do if someone has been infected by COVID-19.

  • Close off areas that person may have been in, and allow the space to ventilate.

  • Find out who the person may have been in contact with and notify them.

  • If the worker is found sick during work, they must be sent home immediately, and their workplace should be sanitized.

  • Notify employees if they were in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19

- Employees should have a temperature screening before they enter a business. If an employee has a temperature of 100.4 or higher, they must be sent home. Symptomatic employees should stay home.

- Work times should be staggered to stop an influx of people coming onto the shift at the same time.

- Breaks should be staggered, and employees on breaks should have enough time to eat and sit, and still have a 6-foot social distance space.