The Town of Boone is requiring people to be masked when they are in public areas, joining a handful of other North Carolina municipalities who are taking the same step to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Last week the Boone Town Council approved a measure requiring anyone 11 or older to wear a mask at indoor businesses and town offices. It applies to customers as well as employees.

Violation of the order could result in a misdemeanor charge, but police are encouraged to educate people about mask use and issue warnings first.

A date for when the order will be rescinded has not yet been determined.

Raleigh also went under a similar requirement on Friday. Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin signed an emergency proclamation on Wednesday mandating face coverings be worn over the mouth and nose when people come in contact with those who are not members of their household in both public and private spaces where it is not possible to stay at least six feet apart.

As with the Boone order, there are some exemptions, including for medical reasons.

Nearby Durham and Orange counties have both required face coverings, but so far Wake County has not taken such an action and the order only applies to the city of Raleigh.

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