Face mask
File Photo | Photo: Anna Shvets / Pexels.

Four municipalities in Lake County — Mundelein, Waukegan, Highland Park and Deerfield — now require residents and visitors to wear masks in public to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Mundelein Mayor Steve Lentz announced Tuesday evening that he issued an executive order requiring face coverings for everyone at essential businesses, including employees and customers.

Businesses may refuse service to those not wearing facial coverings, Lentz said, adding the order will go into effect on Thursday.

Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham also issued an executive order for his city on Tuesday requiring the same. Essential business include grocery stores, restaurants, hardware and supply stores, financial institutions, laundry services, construction sites, repair shops, landscaping and delivery carriers.

Deerfield Mayor Harriet Rosenthal issued her supplemental emergency order with support of the village board during their Monday teleconference meeting. The order went into effect early Wednesday.

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“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of a cloth face covering in public settings to help slow the spread of COVID-19. It is my hope that these added measures will help us to bend the curve and prevent future cases,” Rosenthal said.

All of the four municipalities require the face coverings when taking public transportation like a taxi or ride share in addition to being in an essential business.

Face coverings should cover both the nose and mouth. Appropriate face coverings include non-medical grade masks, homemade masks, scarves, bandanas, or handkerchiefs. Medical-grade masks and N95 respirators are not recommended for general public use.

“We are used to seeing smiles as we shop and go about taking care of chores. I encourage you to think of face coverings as a different kind of smile. One that says I care about you and I want you to be well,” Rosenthal said.

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Highland Park was the first town in Lake County to require face coverings. Their order went into effect on Monday.

Highland Park and Waukegan both require individuals over the age of 2 to wear the face coverings while Mundelein and Deerfield both say the coverings should be worn by those over the age of 5.

The Lake County Health Department said on Tuesday that the county has 2,302 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 85 deaths.