Under an order issued by Gov. Charlie Baker, starting Wednesday, anybody going out in public in Massachusetts will be expected to wear a mask.

So what does that mean for you? Here are some answers to the questions we hear most frequently:

1. Do I have to wear a mask every time I leave my home?

In short, yes. Starting Wednesday, if you are out in public, you need to cover your nose and mouth. There is some wiggle room here; the governor's order applies to "any person who is in a place open to the public in the Commonwealth, whether indoor or outdoor, and is unable or does not maintain a distance of approximately six feet from every other person."

Reading carefully, that means if you are in your own backyard or in a large open space with plenty of distance between people, you do not have to have your face covered. But that is clearly meant to be the exception, not the rule.

2. Do I have to wear a medical mask?

No, in fact the state prefers you not wear a medical mask, saving those for actual medical workers.

The state Department of Public Health says that to comply with the order, "a face covering can include anything that covers your nose and mouth, including dust masks, scarves and bandanas."

There are lots of on-line guides for how to make masks, including suggestions from the CDC about how to cut up an old t-shirt to make a mask.

3. Am I really supposed to put a mask on my 2-year-old?

Yep. The governor's order applies to anybody over the age of two unless there is a medical condition that makes wearing a mask impossible. Of course, parents will tell you that almost anything is impossible with a two-year-old.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has some helpful guidelines.

They point out that the important loophole is that children don't need a mask if (it's a big if) you can keep them away from other people and prevent them from touching things. "Especially for younger children who may not understand why they can’t run up toward other people or touch things they shouldn’t, the best approach is to keep them home and in spaces away from other people and common surfaces."

The APA suggests parents also put a mask on a favorite stuffed animal and decorate a mask to make it more fun, in the hopes of reducing a toddler's fear of the face covering.

4. Is there a penalty for not wearing a mask?

There is. The governor's order specifies a fine of up to $300 per violation and also notes that anyone not wearing a mask can be banned from entering any business in the state. The order includes an exemption for anyone with a medical condition that prevents mask-wearing.

5. Does this apply to my Uber ride?

It does. Under Baker's order, both the driver and the passenger of any taxi or ride-sharing service are required to wear a face covering. Of course it also applies to buses, trains and other public transit.

6. If I wear a mask when I am commuting can I take it off at work?

Maybe not. The governor's order applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces, so if you are in a crowded lobby, an elevator, a lunch line — anywhere you cannot easily keep space between you and the next person — you need to have a face covering. Expect many employers to require workers to wear masks in the office as well.

7. I'm young and healthy and not afraid of getting sick — why do I need to wear a mask?

It's not about you. Yes, wearing a mask is believed to protect you from inhaling infected droplets from other people, but it is also intended to protect other people from you. You may be a carrier of the virus even if you don't have symptoms; the point of the mask is to prevent you from spreading germs to other people. Also: Wearing a mask tends to limit how much you touch your face, which is believed to be a primary transmission method for the coronavirus.

8. So if we are wearing masks, can we stop distancing?

No. Even when wearing a mask, you should still try to maintain six feet of space between yourself and other people. Social distancing remains the most effective way to prevent the spread of the disease.

9. Does the state order replace local mandates on masks?

No. Nothing in the order appears to override the mask rules put in place by cities and towns, and there are some distinctions. For instance, the mask rule in Somerville specifically requires joggers and bicyclists to cover their faces, whether or not they maintain six feet of distance.

10. When does the governor's order expire?

It doesn't. Presumably there will come a time when the order will be revised or lifted, but for now, the order remains in effect until Baker says otherwise.

And it may be a while, said Dr. Helen Boucher, chief of infectious diseases as Tufts Medical Center. Boucher says it would probably be wise for people to be covering their faces through the next flu season, which begins in the fall. At that point, the health care system could be facing two similar and potentially fatal diseases, with many unknowns about how they will interact and whether hospitals will have the capacity to handle both COVID-19 and regular flu patients.

This article has been updated.