Gov. Janet Mills on Wednesday announced she will issue an executive order requiring large retail stores, lodging establishments and restaurants in coastal counties as well as larger metropolitan areas -- including Brewer and Bangor and Lewiston and Auburn -- to enforce the state's face covering requirement.

The coastal counties included in the order are Hancock, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Cumberland, and York.

In the last week, states including North Carolina, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon, have implemented similar measures related to face coverings, given the evidence that masks significantly reduce transmission of the virus, Mills said.

In a news conference on Wednesday, Mills said the new requirement was akin to mandating shirts and shoes in establishments.

Businesses will have the right to refuse service to those not wearing a mask.

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