These Are the States With Mask Mandates During the Coronavirus Pandemic

For most U.S. states and territories, face coverings are mandated by law as a preventive measure during the coronavirus pandemic. Along with public health experts, the majority of governors — including some who have changed their earlier stances on masks as COVID-19 cases have surged in their states — strongly encourage wearing face masks, regardless of state mandate.

According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Kansas, following Gov. Laura Kelly’s July mask mandate on a county-by-county basis, the 24 counties with mandatory mask mandates saw an overall decrease in COVID-19 cases, while the 81 counties that opted out of the mask mandate continued to increase in cases. Similarly, research conducted by Vanderbilt University’s Department of Health Policy in October found that COVID-19 death tolls were twice as high in Tennessee counties without mask mandates, as compared to counties with directives in place. Gov. Bill Lee has not initiated a mask mandate in the state, deferring to local leaders.

[READ: Panel Prioritizes Health Workers, Nursing Homes for Vaccine]

For those areas with mask decrees, the details differ. Some states simply require a face covering anytime an individual leaves his or her residence, while others provide detailed instructions for where masks must be worn. In all states with mandates, children under the age of 2 years old should not wear masks, according to the CDC and further direction by states, but other age restrictions vary.

Here are details on mask mandates in all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia:

Alabama

Alaska

American Samoa

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Guam

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Northern Mariana Islands

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

U.S. Virgin Islands

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

[RESOURCE: Find Out What Your State Is Doing About Coronavirus]

Alabama: State Mandate in Place

Gov. Kay Ivey initiated a statewide mask mandate effective July 16, ordering that masks should be worn in the state when within 6 feet of a member of another household in public indoor spaces, while using transportation services or in outdoor public spaces with gatherings of 10 or more people. The order, which has since been updated, excludes those under the age of 6, those with certain medical conditions and those exercising in gyms from the mandate.

More information on COVID-19 in Alabama

Alaska: No State Mandate

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services encourages mask wearing anytime an individual is near non-household members, especially indoors, but no official mandate at the state level is in place. Some cities, such as Anchorage, have initiated local mandates.

More information on COVID-19 in Alaska

American Samoa: No Territory Mandate

Although no territory-wide mask mandate exists, individuals are encouraged to wear masks when in public. According to the World Health Organization, the group of islands that make up the territory of American Samoa in the Pacific Ocean has seen zero cases of COVID-19.

More information on COVID-19 in American Samoa

Arizona: No State Mandate

On Nov. 19, the Arizona Department of Health Services ordered that all schools throughout the state require masks to be worn on school campuses, on school buses and at any school-associated activities. Some businesses also have mask mandates in place, and some cities and counties have their own mandates, but a statewide mandate has not been instituted for Arizona outside of its schools.

More information on COVID-19 in Arizona

Arkansas: State Mandate in Place

Effective July 20, the state’s secretary of health requires individuals in Arkansas to comply with face covering guidelines when exposed to members of other households while indoors in places other than private residences where a distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained. Face coverings are also required outdoors when exposed to non-household members and when a distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained. Children under the age of 10 are exempt from the order, along with individuals with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in Arkansas

California: State Mandate in Place

Gov. Gavin Newsom initiated a mask mandate for Californians on June 18, and it has since been updated to order face coverings be worn whenever individuals are outside of the home. Children under 2 years of age are exempt from the mandate, as are individuals with certain medical conditions, and those who are outdoors and able to maintain a 6-foot distance from others, although they must bring a mask with them at all times.

More information on COVID-19 in California

Colorado: State Mandate in Place

Since July 20, individuals in the state have been required to wear a mask in indoor, public spaces and when using or waiting to use public transportation. The mandate makes exceptions for those 10 years and under and those with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in Colorado

Connecticut: State Mandate in Place

Gov. Ned Lamont ordered starting April 20 that all individuals in the state must wear a mask or face covering if they come within 6 feet of a non-household member, and when using public transportation. Since September, individuals may be fined if they do not comply with the mask mandate. Children under 2 years of age are exempt from the mandate, as are those with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in Connecticut

Delaware: State Mandate in Place

Effective April 28 and updated in November, Gov. John Carney ordered that individuals in the state wear face coverings when using public transportation, while at a business and in outdoor spaces where maintaining a distance of 6 feet from non-household members is not possible. Children 12 years and under are not required to wear face coverings, although those over 2 years of age are encouraged to do so. Some medical exemptions apply, as well.

More information on COVID-19 in Delaware

District of Columbia: Mandate in Place

Mayor Muriel Bowser initiated a mask mandate on July 22, stipulating that all individuals must wear a mask at businesses, in common areas of apartments, and when maintaining a distance of 6 feet is not possible outdoors. The order follows a May mandate requiring face coverings in essential business and during essential travel when the District was under a stay-at-home order. The order makes exceptions for children 2 years and younger, and individuals with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in the District of Columbia

Florida: No State Mandate

Although city and county-level mandates exist, Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended all fines and penalties associated with not adhering to COVID-19-related restrictions on Sept. 25, hindering local leaders from enforcing their mandates.

More information on COVID-19 in Florida

Georgia: No State Mandate

According to Gov. Brian Kemp, face coverings are strongly encouraged outside of individuals’ homes, but not required. An Aug. 15 order allows counties to call for a mask mandate if they meet a certain number of COVID-19 cases per 100,00 people, and some cities, such as Atlanta, require masks in public.

More information on COVID-19 in Georgia

Guam: Mandate in Place

The territory’s mask mandate orders individuals to wear masks “when congregating with persons not from the same household.” The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services also ordered a system of fines and penalties for violating the mask directive.

More information on COVID-19 in Guam

Hawaii: State Mandate in Place

Until Nov. 16, the state had multiple mask mandates, dictated by county governments. Gov. David Ige instituted a statewide mandate for all individuals 5 years and older, excluding those with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in Hawaii

Idaho: No State Mandate

On Nov. 19, five counties in Northern Idaho instituted a mask mandate, requiring masks to be worn when social distancing cannot occur. There is no mandate at the state level, though masks have been encouraged. Some cities, such as Boise, require masks in public.

More information on COVID-19 in Idaho

Illinois: State Mandate in Place

Gov. J.B. Pritzker put a mask mandate into place effective May 1, requiring that individuals in the state wear a face covering in public indoor spaces, and when expecting to come into contact with non-household members within 6 feet. Children 2 years and under are exempt from the mandate, as are individuals with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in Illinois

Indiana: State Mandate in Place

Effective July 27, individuals must wear a mask or face covering in the state when visiting public indoor spaces, such as businesses, while using public transportation, and when unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from non-household members while outdoors. Exemptions are outlined for children under the age of 8 years old, those with certain medical conditions, and those who are experiencing homelessness.

More information on COVID-19 in Indiana

Iowa: State Mandate in Place

Effective Nov. 17, Gov. Kim Reynolds instituted a mask mandate for individuals when in indoor public spaces, and if they will be within 6 feet of non-household members for 15 minutes or longer. Children under the age of 2 years old and individuals with certain medical conditions are exempt from the mandate.

More information on COVID-19 in Iowa

Kansas: State Mandate in Place

Since July 3, a statewide face-covering mandate has been in place for individuals throughout the state when in indoor public spaces, using public transportation, and outdoors when unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from non-household members. However, a preceding order allows counties to opt out of the governor’s mandate.

More information on COVID-19 in Kansas

Kentucky: State Mandate in Place

Gov. Andy Beshear initiated a face-covering mandate beginning July 10, making face coverings required while using public transportation, in all businesses and when a distance of 6 feet is difficult to maintain in all public indoor and outdoor spaces. Children 5 years and younger are exempt from the mandate, along with individuals actively exercising at a gym while maintaining a 6-foot distance from others, and those with disabilities that may prevent them from safely wearing a face covering.

More information on COVID-19 in Kentucky

Louisiana: State Mandate in Place

Effective July 13, individuals in the state are required to wear masks while in public settings. Exceptions are made for children under 8 years old and individuals with certain medical conditions. Residents of parishes that have opted out of the mandate due to having fewer than 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people are also exempt.

More information on COVID-19 in Louisiana

Maine: State Mandate in Place

Gov. Janet Mills initiated a face-covering mandate effective April 29, requiring individuals throughout the state to wear a face covering in public settings. It has been updated to include public settings such as businesses, public transportation and outdoor spaces, regardless of whether individuals can maintain physical-distancing measures. Children under 5 years of age and individuals with certain medical conditions are exempt from the mandate.

More information on COVID-19 in Maine

Maryland: State Mandate in Place

Since April 15, Marylanders have been required to wear face coverings in the state while using public transportation and at retail establishments, an order that was updated to include mask requirements while indoors at any public location and outdoors when physical-distancing measures are not consistently possible from non-household members. Exceptions are in place for children 5 years and under, and for individuals with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in Maryland

Massachusetts: State Mandate in Place

Gov. Charlie Baker put a face-covering mandate in place effective May 6, ordering that individuals in the state wear a face covering when in a public location and when unable to maintain a distance of 6 feet from a non-household member. It has since been updated to stipulate that masks must be worn at all times in public spaces. Exceptions apply for children 5 years of age and younger, and for individuals with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in Massachusetts

Michigan: State Mandate in Place

After Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s mask mandate was challenged in court, the Michigan Health Department stepped in, requiring Michiganders to wear face coverings in indoor, public spaces and crowded outdoor spaces, effective Oct. 5. Children under the age of 5 are not required to wear a face covering, besides in some child care settings. Those with certain medical conditions are also exempted from the mandate.

More information on COVID-19 in Michigan

Minnesota: State Mandate in Place

Gov. Tim Walz mandated starting July 25 that individuals in the state must wear a face covering in all indoor businesses and public settings, strongly encouraging Minnesotans to have a face covering with them at all times when leaving home. Exceptions to the mask mandate are made for children 5 years of age and younger, and individuals with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in Minnesota

Mississippi: No State Mandate

After a statewide mask mandate expired in October, Gov. Tate Reeves has imposed mandates on a county basis. More than half of the state’s counties are under mask mandates, which order individuals to wear face coverings when in indoor public spaces due to high COVID-19 case counts.

More information on COVID-19 in Mississippi

Missouri: No State Mandate

Some cities have adopted mask mandates in the state, but a statewide mandate is not in place. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services advises individuals to wear face coverings outside of the home when social distancing is not possible.

More information on COVID-19 in Missouri

Montana: State Mandate in Place

Gov. Steve Bullock initiated a face-covering mandate July 15 for individuals in some indoor public spaces. The order previously exempted counties that have reported fewer than four cases of COVID-19, but was extended to all counties regardless of case count on Nov. 20. The mandate exempts children under 5 years of age.

More information on COVID-19 in Montana

Nebraska: No State Mandate

Masks are required for some employees at businesses where customers come in close contact, such as massage parlors and barbershops, but no statewide mandate exists. Some cities, such as Omaha, have more stringent face covering requirements.

More information on COVID-19 in Nebraska

Nevada: State Mandate in Place

Starting June 25, individuals in the state were required to wear a face covering in any public space. New restrictions were put in place Nov. 22, mandating that face coverings must be worn when there is any contact with a non-household member, including private gatherings, whether inside or outside.

More information on COVID-19 in Nevada

New Hampshire: State Mandate in Place

Gov. Chris Sununu announced a mask mandate beginning Nov. 20 for individuals in any public space, indoor or outdoor, where consistently maintaining physical-distancing measures is not possible. The order does not apply to educators, students and staff in K-12 schools, and individuals with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in New Hampshire

New Jersey: State Mandate in Place

Effective July 8, individuals in the state are required to wear a mask in outdoor spaces where physical-distancing measures are not possible. The order reiterates that all individuals should continue to wear masks in all indoor spaces accessible to the public, except for children under 2 years of age, and individuals for whom a mask would pose a safety risk.

More information on COVID-19 in New Jersey

New Mexico: State Mandate in Place

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham initiated a face-covering mandate, effective May 16, ordering individuals in the state to wear a face covering when in public spaces. In July, restrictions were extended to gyms, as well, and a fine was put in place for violations of the mandate.

More information on COVID-19 in New Mexico

New York: State Mandate in Place

Since April 17, a face-covering mandate has been in place in the state in all public spaces when unable to maintain physical-distancing measures, such as using public transportation. The order makes exceptions for children under age 2 and individuals who cannot medically tolerate a face covering.

More information on COVID-19 in New York

North Carolina: State Mandate in Place

Gov. Roy Cooper announced Nov. 23 that individuals in the state must wear face coverings when in indoor or outdoor public spaces and around non-household members. Face coverings are now required in schools and when exercising at gyms, building on the state’s initial June mandate. The order makes exceptions for children under 5 years of age, and those with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in North Carolina

North Dakota: State Mandate in Place

Announced Nov. 13, individuals in the state are required to wear masks in all indoor public spaces and outdoors when physical-distancing measures are not possible. Children under age 4 are exempt from the mandate, as are individuals with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in North Dakota

Northern Mariana Islands: No Mandate in Place

Wearing a mask in the territory is not mandated, but some businesses have independently required face coverings upon entering.

More information on COVID-19 in the Northern Mariana Islands

Ohio: State Mandate in Place

Gov. Mike DeWine initiated a face-covering mandate, effective July 23, requiring all individuals to wear a face covering at all indoor public spaces, including public transportation, as well as in outdoor public spaces when physical-distancing measures are not possible. Exceptions are made for children under 10 years of age and for individuals with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in Ohio

Oklahoma: No State Mandate

Gov. Kevin Stitt has recommended mask wearing but has not imposed a statewide mandate. Some cities, such as Tulsa, have a mask mandate.

More information on COVID-19 in Oklahoma

Oregon: State Mandate in Place

Since July 1, individuals throughout the state have been required to wear face coverings in public indoor spaces, and that was later expanded to outdoor spaces. The state’s most recent mandate orders masks to be worn at all times, besides in one’s residence or while eating or drinking. Children under the age of 5 are exempt, as are those with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in Oregon

Pennsylvania: State Mandate in Place

Secretary of Health Rachel Levine announced a new mask mandate Nov. 17 requiring individuals age 2 and up to wear masks wherever they gather indoors with non-household members, even if they practice physical distancing. The order builds on a July 1 statewide mandate that required masks to be worn in public places.

More information on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania

Puerto Rico: Mask Mandate in Place

Face masks are required at all businesses and during all outdoor activities in the territory, following a June 29 executive order.

More information on COVID-19 in Puerto Rico

Rhode Island: State Mandate in Place

Starting May 8, individuals throughout the state have been required to wear face coverings in all public spaces. Gov. Gina Raimondo built upon that mandate in November, ordering face coverings to be worn at all times when a non-household member is present, including while outdoors. Exceptions are made for children under 2 years of age, and for those individuals with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in Rhode Island

South Carolina: No State Mask Mandate

Gov. Henry McMaster has urged local officials to impose a mask mandate, but no statewide mandate exists. Since Aug. 3, however, individuals in the state have been required to wear a face covering in government buildings, offices and facilities. Some cities and counties have imposed face covering regulations of their own.

More information on COVID-19 in South Carolina

South Dakota: No State Mandate

The state encourages individuals to wear masks, but Gov. Kristi Noem has not put a statewide mandate in place. Two lawmakers recently called on Noem to institute a mask policy. Some communities have instituted mask mandates locally.

More information on COVID-19 in South Dakota

Tennessee: No State Mandate

Gov. Bill Lee has advised individuals to take personal responsibility when it comes to wearing face coverings in public, especially in indoor spaces and when social distancing is not possible, but no statewide mandate has been ordered. Multiple counties across the state have initiated mask mandates.

More information on COVID-19 in Tennessee

Texas: State Mandate in Place

Effective July 3, individuals across the state are required to wear a face covering in public indoor spaces, as well as in outdoor public spaces when physical-distancing measures are not possible. Children younger than 10 years old are exempted from the mandate, as are individuals with certain medical conditions. Counties with fewer than 20 active COVID-19 cases can apply for an exemption.

More information on COVID-19 in Texas

U.S. Virgin Islands: Mandate in Place

In July, the Commissioner of Health ordered that face coverings be worn in the territory in public spaces, including work spaces, businesses, schools and public transportation. The mandate exempts children under the age of 2.

More information on COVID-19 in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Utah: State Mandate in Place

Gov. Gary Herbert announced a statewide mask mandate Nov. 9 after previously instituting mandates on the county level. The statewide order requires all individuals in the state must wear face masks while in indoor public settings, as well as outdoors when coming within 6 feet of a non-household member. Children younger than 3 years old are exempted from the mandate, as are individuals with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in Utah

Vermont: State Mandate in Place

Since Aug. 1, individuals in the state have been required to wear a face covering while in indoor or outdoor public spaces where they come in contact with non-household members and where they are unable to maintain a distance of 6 feet. The mandate makes exceptions for children 2 years of age and younger and those with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in Vermont

Virginia: State Mandate in Place

Gov. Ralph Northam initiated a statewide face-covering mandate May 29, ordering individuals throughout the state to wear face coverings when in indoor public spaces and while using public transportation. The order was updated in November to lower the age requirement for face coverings from 10 to 5.

More information on COVID-19 in Virginia

Washington: State Mandate in Place

Effective June 26, individuals in the state have been required to wear face coverings when in indoor public spaces, and in outdoor public spaces when maintaining a 6-foot distance from others is not possible. Children under 5 years of age are exempt from the mandate, along with individuals with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in Washington

West Virginia: State Mandate in Place

Gov. Jim Justice initiated a face-covering mandate, effective Nov. 14, ordering all individuals in the state to wear face coverings when in indoor public spaces, with exceptions while eating and drinking inside restaurants. Children under 9 years of age are exempt from the regulation, as are individuals with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in West Virginia

Wisconsin: State Mandate in Place

Following a legal challenge in October, Gov. Tony Evers’ face-covering mandate was upheld. The mandate requires individuals throughout the state to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, as well as enclosed spaces such as while using public transportation. The mandate makes exceptions for children under the age of 5, and individuals with certain medical conditions.

More information on COVID-19 in Wisconsin

Wyoming: No State Mandate

The Wyoming Department of Health recommends face coverings be worn in public settings where physical-distancing measures are difficult, but no statewide mask mandate exists. Some counties have face-covering mandates in place.

More information on COVID-19 in Wyoming

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These Are the States With Mask Mandates During the Coronavirus Pandemic originally appeared on usnews.com

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