Executive Order 20-94

Eighty-ninth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Continuing to Require Cloth Face Coverings in Public

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, I declared a state of emergency due to the dangers to health and life posed by COVID-19 and that declaration has been extended until at least December 3, 2020;

WHEREAS, aggressive and sustained efforts continue to be necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19;

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that COVID-19 symptoms may appear as many as fourteen (14) days after exposure;

WHEREAS, the CDC has confirmed that a significant number of people infected with COVID-19 do not show symptoms;

WHEREAS, COVID-19 is contagious and persons who are asymptomatic can spread the virus; and

WHEREAS, the use of masks and cloth face coverings is an important public health approach to slow the transmission of COVID-19.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GINA M. RAIMONDO, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Rhode Island, pursuant to Article IX of the Rhode Island Constitution and the Rhode Island General Laws, including, but not limited to, Title 30, Chapter 15, and Title 23, Chapter 8, do hereby order and direct the following:

  1. Any person, whether indoors or outdoors, shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face covering. No person shall be required to wear a mask or cloth face covering (i) who is under two years of age, (ii) whose health would be damaged thereby, or (iii) who is developmentally unable to comply, including young children who may not be able to effectively wear a mask or cloth face covering. A mask or cloth face covering shall not be required for any person when: 
    • Consuming food or drink; 
    • A face covering would impede communication by or with a person who has a hearing impediment; 
    • Undergoing a medical or dental procedure;
    • Working alone in an office or at a job site, or when workers can easily, continuously, and measurably maintain 6 feet of distance in a workplace. If customers, coworkers, or visitors can reasonably be expected to approach or interact with a worker, a mask or cloth face covering must be worn by the worker;
    • Speaking to a broadcast, webcast, or audience when no person is within 6 feet of the person speaking;
    • In a vehicle alone or with members of the same household; or
    • Performing live provided there is: (i) at least fourteen (14) feet of physical distance between performers and any other person (including other performers); or (ii) at least six (6) feet of physical distance between performers and any other person (including other performers) if all performers wear cloth face coverings throughout the performance and there is no vocal performance, or there is a physical barrier separating performers and any other person.
  2. All persons must continue to wear masks or cloth face coverings at all times when inside grocery stores, pharmacies or other retail businesses. All persons must continue to wear masks or cloth face coverings when providing or using the services of any taxi, car, livery, ride-sharing, or similar service or any means of mass public transit, or while within an enclosed or semi-enclosed transit stop or wa1tmg area. Restaurants offering dine-in services, personal services businesses, gyms, daycares, and places/venues of assembly shall abide by their particular sector-specific face covering protocols for employees, customers and attendees set forth in the executive order in effect on phased re-opening and its supporting guidelines and regulations. Unless otherwise specified, employees, customers and attendees shall wear a mask or cloth face coverings as required in paragraph 1 above. Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) employees may prevent any person from boarding a RIPT A vehicle if, after being offered a free mask, such person refuses to wear one. Nothing in this Executive Order shall require a store or other place of business to refuse entry to a customer not wearing a face covering; however, stores and other places of business shall actively remind customers that they must wear a mask or cloth face covering.
  3. Nothing shall prevent a person from wearing a surgical grade mask or other more protective face covering if the person is already in possession of such equipment. All persons are strongly discouraged from using higher-level respiratory protection, such as N95s, to meet the requirements of this Order; N95s and other high-level respiratory protection should be reserved for healthcare workers or others who have a federal or state requirement to wear one to perform their work safely.
  4. A CDC tutorial for do-it-yourself cloth face coverings is available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-clot…
  5. The Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) shall promulgate and enforce any rules and regulations necessary to implement this Order with particular focus on social gatherings, bars and other crowded areas and events where the danger of spreading and contracting the virus is greatest.
  6. The Director of RIDOH or her designees are further authorized to assess civil penalties for violation of this Order. Such civil penalties shall be in addition to any other penalties authorized by law.

This Order supersedes Executive Order 20-60 as extended by Executive Order 20- 91. It shall take effect on November 6, 2020 and remain in full force and effect until December 5, 2020, unless renewed, modified or terminated by subsequent Executive Order.

So Ordered,

Gina M. Raimondo