By Christina Hager

EVERETT (CBS) — It’s now the law in Everett: wear a mask when you’re in public, or you might face a $300 fine. On Monday, the first day the mandate took effect, the temperature hovered in the 90’s.

“Hot days like this where it’s very humid, it’s hard to breathe,” said Khari Garcia, pulling his mask down below his chin.

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Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria laid down the mandate as COVID-19 cases in Everett creep up to more than double the state’s rate. “We have seen a recent uptick in our cases that have been traced back to large gatherings of people in outdoor spaces,” he said. “I’m hopeful that the implementation of this order will drive our numbers back down.”

The signs on the door at Everett Square Convenience make it clear masks are required. Still, Bhabna Patel told WBZ-TV some customers don’t wear them.

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“Sometimes it happens. People will argue why they need to wear the mask if they don’t have any problem, but you have to be careful,” she said.

Everett Police, the Health Department, and Inspectional Services are tasked with enforcing the new law.

While some think it goes too far, others hope it will help. “Especially where we’re a community where there’s a higher rate of virus than others. It’s the only way we’re going to stop it,” said resident Patty Morello.

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DeMaria said the intent behind the law is not to give out fines but to have those gathering in large groups wear face coverings to stop the spread.

Christina Hager