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Portland City Council Considers Amendment That Would Require Workers To Cover Their Faces

Robert F. Bukaty
AP Photo
Alex Campbell, left, and Sasha Leppanen return to their apartment building after a successful trip to the grocery store that included the purchase of hard-to-find toilet paper, Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in Portland, Maine.

Workers in the city of Portland, especially those who come into close contact with the public,  would have to wear masks, or similar cloth face coverings, if the Portland City Council approves an amendment to the city's emergency stay-at-home order at its meeting Monday evening. 

Portland City Councilor Spencer Thibodeau says the amendment would not require the types of face masks being used by front line workers in hospitals, and that there are a number of options.

“From bandanas to shirts that you can use elastic bands. This doesn't have to be anything, you know, professionally done. But the purpose of, right, is to capture those particulates and make sure that you're not exposing someone to the virus.”

Thibodeau says until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, wearing facing coverings will be the new normal.

And he says wearing a mask doesn't mean people can stop practicing social distancing. Monday evening the Portland City Council is expected to vote on extending the city's Emergency Stay-at-Home order.

Updated 3:00 p.m. April 26, 2020

Ed is a Maine native who spent his early childhood in Livermore Falls before moving to Farmington. He graduated from Mount Blue High School in 1970 before going to the University of Maine at Orono where he received his BA in speech in 1974 with a broadcast concentration. It was during that time that he first became involved with public broadcasting. He served as an intern for what was then called MPBN TV and also did volunteer work for MPBN Radio.