Pennsylvania State Police at Fogelsville said Friday that a man who allegedly failed to wear a face mask inside an area Walmart store was later charged with disorderly conduct.
In a news release published online, police said Mohamad Awadallah, 18, of West Washington Street, Allentown, was at the Walmart on Mill Creek Road in Lower Macungie Township Monday when he allegedly became disorderly inside the store.
Police said Awadallah “failed to wear a protective mask, and began to act unruly, cursing and yelling at employees.”
After Awadallah was asked to leave the premises, 911 was called, and Awadallah allegedly fled from the store upon troopers’ arrival, the news release indicated.
Police said the incident happened shortly before 7 p.m. April 20, which was the first full day that a mask law was in effect in Pennsylvania; a consequence of health and safety requirements brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the order issued by state health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, to help slow the spread of the disease customers and employees must wear masks or face coverings inside Pennsylvania retail establishments unless they have a medical condition that prevents them from doing so. Children under 2 are also exempt.
According to reports by various media outlets, most customers are complying with the order, which is being advertised by businesses with signage and in-store announcements.
Failure to comply with the order may result in enforcement action that could include citations, fines or license suspensions, Gov. Tom Wolf said in an April 15 news release.
“The governor has directed the following state agencies and local officials to enforce orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic to the full extent of the law: Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor and Industry (and) Pennsylvania State Police,” the news release indicated.
As of Friday, Lower Macungie Township had reported more deaths due to the novel coronavirus–nearly two dozen so far–than any other municipality in Lehigh County.
The state Department of Health Saturday confirmed nearly 1,400 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases statewide since the pandemic began to 40,049.
Lehigh County added nearly 75 new cases to its count Saturday. And with more than 2,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since early March, the county has one of the highest caseloads in the state, as well as the second highest per capita incidence of the illness with more than 700 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents.
In order for a county’s stay-at-home order to be loosened, Wolf’s administration has said it must have fewer than 50 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people for a period of 14 days.
Lehigh County has a population of approximately 330,000 so it would need to report fewer than 165 cases in a 14-day period in order to move toward reopening, which some Pennsylvania counties with relatively few cases of COVID-19 are expected to do May 8.
Note: Individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty. This story was compiled using information from police and public court documents.
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