face masks

Walmart says shoppers must wear masks inside its stores starting Monday — the largest retailer to join a growling list of companies making face covering mandatory across the nation.

Congressional investigators are launching an inquiry into a handful of companies that landed government contracts related to COVID-19, calling the deals "suspicious" because the companies lacked experience and, in some cases, had political connections to the Trump administration.

They fume and rage and demand their rights. Sometimes they even get violent.

In the age of COVID-19, most people practice social distancing guidelines when they go into stores and restaurants, putting on masks and standing 6 feet behind other customers.

Still, there are the nightmare customers — those who refuse to comply.

"I've had a lot of conflict. I've had a lot of pushback from people," says Brenda Leek, owner of Curbside Eatery in La Mesa, Calif.

Weekly Reporter Roundtable

Jul 13, 2020
Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine wearing face masks on June 23, 2020.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Four months into the pandemic, after 3,000 Ohio deaths, the state is mandating people wear face masks in public to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Franklin, Pickaway and Fairfield counties in central Ohio are among the 12 counties now under the order, but so far Gov. DeWine has stopped short of a statewide mask mandate.

A collection of masks made by Sew-hio sewing club.
Marian Jacques

Twelve Ohio counties are under an order by Gov. Mike DeWine to wear masks in indoor spaces and outdoors where social distancing isn’t possible.

That order is meant to reduce coronavirus rates in areas of the state where the virus is raging out of control, but it's being met with somewhat mixed reaction.

President Trump on Saturday was photographed wearing a mask during a visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, after months of refusing to don the medical expert-recommended face coverings meant to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"I love masks in the appropriate locations," Trump said, speaking to reporters at the White House before his visit.

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor delivered her State of the Judiciary at the Hilton at Easton on September 12, 2019.
LIESL BONNEAU

Ohioans in a total of 12 counties will be required to wear masks starting Friday at 6 p.m. But lawmakers continug to push back on the state's COVID-19 response, and raise questions about the enforcement and legality of the mask mandate and other public health orders.

More than 20 states have now issued orders requiring people to wear face masks in public as the rate of new coronavirus cases surges to record heights in parts of the United States.

The U.S. has recorded more than 1 million coronavirus infections over the past month alone, pushing the number of confirmed cases past the 3 million mark this week.

Taylor Williams, left, and other shoppers what in line to enter a Traders Joes store, Monday, April 6, 2020, in Woodmere Village, Ohio. Only 25 customers are allowed in the store at one time.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

The number of Ohio counties where masks are required in indoor business spaces and public places has gone up to 12, with one county falling off the initial list and five more being added.

Starbucks announced on Thursday that it would require all patrons to wear face masks at its locations across the United States.

The order will take effect on July 15, according to a statement from Starbucks.

Several states have already mandated that residents wear masks in public spaces like coffee shops because of the coronavirus, though many still have no such requirement.

Masks On

Jul 9, 2020
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine wears a mask before his coronavirus press conference on June 23, 2020.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, host Mike Thompson discusses the collision of science and politics as Gov. Mike DeWine mandates wearing face masks in 12 counties with fast-rising COVID-19 cases.

Updated July 10 at 7:45 a.m. ET

Ohio state Rep. Nino Vitale is urging his constituents not to get tested for the coronavirus, flouting advice from health officials — and from another Republican lawmaker, Gov. Mike DeWine.

"This is what happens when people go crazy and get tested," Vitale wrote on Facebook this week. "STOP GETTING TESTED!"

A customer at Global Gallery in Clintonville wears a face mask while seated in the coffee shop's outdoor patio.
Mary Rathke / WOSU

The question of enforcement remains unclear after Gov. Mike DeWine issued a requirement that people in seven hot-spot counties wear masks inside businesses and public places. The mandate took effect Wednesday night.

Starting Wednesday at 6 p.m., people in Hamilton County must wear masks in public spaces to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

The U.S. has reported more than 3 million coronavirus cases as of Wednesday morning, with all but a handful of states struggling to control outbreaks of COVID-19. One million of those cases have been confirmed over the past month — part of a wave of infection that began after many states started to reopen their economies in May.

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