CHICAGO – McDonald’s will require customers to wear face coverings at its restaurants, joining other large businesses that are tightening rules as COVID-19 cases mount across the country.

The fast-food giant also said Friday that it will delay for another 30 days the reopening of dining rooms that remain closed.

McDonald’s will offer masks to customers who don’t have one. If a customer declines to wear one, their order will be expedited and they will be guided to a designated pickup spot.

Nearly 82% of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are in states or areas that require facial coverings for customers, but “it’s important we protect the safety of all employees and customers,” the company said.

Conflicts have arisen as employees confront customers who refuse to wear masks. McDonald’s employees will be trained to address those situations, the company said.

A growing number of businesses are requiring shoppers to wear masks, including Walmart and Home Depot.

“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 explaining its decision. “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.”