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McDonald's announced Friday it will require all customers to wear face coverings inside its U.S. restaurants beginning Aug. 1.

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The fast-food giant is the latest company to implement a face-covering requirement, which comes amid a surge in fresh cases of the novel coronavirus across the South and West parts of the country.

Customers dine outside McDonald’s in Union Square in New York City on June 24, 2020. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

"The latest science suggests droplets have the potential to stay in the air for extended periods of time, increasing the risk of virus spread, especially from asymptomatic carriers," McDonald's said in a news release. "As a result, the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reiterates face coverings are an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

To date, nearly 82 percent of its restaurants are in states or localities that require facial coverings for employees and customers.

"It’s important we protect the safety of all employees and customers," the company added.

If a customer declines to wear a face covering, the company will "put in place additional procedures to take care of them in a friendly, expedited way."


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