UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WJZ) — Prince George’s County will now require any shoppers or commuters to wear face masks when they are out for essential reasons.

This move comes as the county has the largest number of coronavirus cases and deaths reported in the state.

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Of the more than 7,600 COVID-10 cases in Maryland, Prince George’s County has nearly 2,000 cases. It also accounts for nearly a quarter of the deaths in the state. The county reported 50 deaths, and the state has just over 200 deaths total.

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Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks made the announcement Saturday that she will sign the executive order requiring all patrons shopping at grocery stores, pharmacies and large chain retailers to wear masks or face-covering in order to enter.

The executive order also requires bus and metro commuters to wear the masks onboard.

“The safety and wellbeing of all Prince Georgians during this pandemic is my top priority,” said Alsobrooks. “For the protection of employees who work in these establishments, as well as the customers who need these essential services, it is critical that each person does their part to cover their faces and minimize their exposure to others.”

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The order will take effect Wednesday, April 15.

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The order will also require that grocery stores, pharmacies and large retailers promote social distancing inside and outside of the stores while customers wait.

“These steps will be critical to help us flatten the curve and prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Prince George’s County Health Officer Earnest Carter. “We know there are people with the virus who are walking around and showing no symptoms, and these actions will prevent them from spreading it to others. Consider it an act of love.”

County Executive Alsobrooks also reminds Prince Georgians about the Governor’s stay-at-home order this Easter weekend, asking residents to resist the urge to visit family members for large gatherings, and instead, host virtual celebrations with family and friends.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.