Virginia residents will be required to wear face masks in public spaces starting Friday under a new executive order from the state’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday, just days after being spotted without one.
Under Northam’s law, masks will be mandated anywhere that people congregate, including but not limited to stores, diners, barber shops, government buildings, and public transit. Exceptions feature those eating or drinking in a restaurant, those who are exercising, children under the age of 10, and individuals with an underlying health condition that prevents one from covering their face.
Those who violate Northam’s new guidelines, which will be enforced by the Virginia Department of Health and not traditional law enforcement, Northam said during a Tuesday press conference, could be charged with Class 1 misdemeanor.
Just on Saturday however, Northam drew criticism after being spotted on Virginia Beach with no face covering taking photos with constituents and answering questions from reporters.
“I was not prepared because my mask was in the car,” Northam said. “I take full responsibility for that.”
Perhaps Gov. Northam can borrow a mask from a friend.