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Whitmer toughens mask mandate, says businesses must deny service

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is toughening a requirement to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic, mandating that businesses open to the public deny service or entry to customers who refuse to wear one.

The governor on Friday also expanded where people must have a face covering beyond indoor public spaces. Starting immediately, they have to wear one outdoors if they cannot consistently keep 6 feet from non-household members, and while using public transportation, a taxi or a ride-sharing vehicle. Violators will be subject to a misdemeanor fine.

"No shirts, no shoes, no mask - no service," said Whitmer.

“Masks can reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 by about 70 percent," she said. "By wearing masks, we can save lives and protect our family, friends, and neighbors from the spread of COVID-19. And by wearing masks now, we can put our state in a stronger position so our kids can return to school safely in the fall. For the sake of your loved ones, let’s all mask up, Michigan.”

Kansas, Maine, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Washington have imposed similar requirements on businesses.

Cases of COVID-19 have been on the rise again in Michigan, with a number of outbreaks occuring after exposure at bars, restaurants, and other businesses. Officials blame "spotty compliance with the governor’s requirement, issued in prior orders, that individuals wear face coverings in public spaces."

As of July 9, there are 75,063 cases of COVID-19 in the state.

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The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
Emma is a producer for the digital content team at Michigan Radio. Her duties span all things web-related, from news reporting and photography to digital fundraising and graphic design. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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