State by State Face Mask Mandates

Regulation | September 23, 2021 | by Eram Abbasi

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has issued revised guidance on July 27 as the delta variant of the coronavirus is fueling a new surge in COVID-19 cases. The new guidance is recommending that vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas with substantial or high rates of COVID-19 transmission. You can check your area's risk level on CDC's website.

Currently, seven state governments require people to wear face coverings in most indoor public settings to curb the spread of COVID-19. The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico also have mask orders in place. To date, 29 states that had mask orders covering the general public have mostly lifted them. Two states that previously lifted mandates, Louisiana and Oregon, have reimposed them amid the delta spike. Eleven states did not impose mask mandates at any point during the pandemic.

Here’s where each state stands on the use of face masks, as of September 23, 2021,

  • Alabama 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • The state's latest COVID-19 public health order encourages but does not require residents to wear masks when within 6 feet of someone from another household.
  • Alaska 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Alaska's Department of Health Social Services “strongly encourages the wearing of masks in public,” but the state has not required it.
  • Arizona
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • On March 25, Gov. Ducey lifted all state COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and barring cities and counties from enforcing mask mandates except in government buildings and on public transit.
  • Arkansas 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Gov. Asa Hutchinson lifted his 8-month-old mask mandate on March 30. Health officials continue to recommend that Arkansans wear masks in public when unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from people outside their households.
  • California 
    • Statewide Mandate: Yes
    • California's updated guidance dated July 28 requires all individuals in most indoor public settings to wear a mask. Additionally, masks are required for unvaccinated individuals in all public indoor settings.
  • Colorado 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Gov. Jared Polis signed an Executive Order on May 14. The EO states that fully vaccinated people can go without masks in public indoor spaces unless the setting requires otherwise. Unvaccinated people over age 11 are encouraged to continue wearing masks in all public indoor spaces where members of different households are present.
  • Connecticut 
    • Statewide Mandate: Yes
    • Starting May 19, the mandate will be limited only to indoor areas, and those who are vaccinated will no longer be required to wear masks indoors, in accordance with CDC recommendations. Children under 2 years of age are exempt from the mandate, as are those with certain medical conditions.
    Delaware 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Effective May 21, Gov. Camey eliminated the social distancing requirements and removed Delaware's mask mandate. 
  • District of Columbia 
    • Citywide Mandate: Yes
    • Fully vaccinated people can go maskless outdoors "except in crowded settings or venues." Unvaccinated individuals must mask up outside their homes "when they are likely to come into contact with another person." Face-covering remains required in indoor public settings and on public transit. 
  • Florida 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Florida recommends but has not required face coverings for the general public. 
  • Georgia 
    • Statewide Mandate: Np
    • Gov. Brian Kemp revised his coronavirus health order on Aug. 15 to allow local governments to impose limited mask mandates.
  • Hawaii 
    • Statewide Mandate: Yes
    • Gov. David Ige's COVID-19 emergency proclamation requires face covering for customers at or waiting to enter a place of business and for employees who have contact with customers or goods.
  • Idaho 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • The State's Stay Healthy Guidelines, updated on May 11, aligned with CMS recommendations. 
  • Illinois 
    • Statewide Mandate: Yes
    •  On May 17, Pritzker aligned the state's mask mandate with CDC guidelines, allowing those who are vaccinated to go without masks in most situations.
  • Indiana
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Mask mandate became a "mask advisory" on April 6. Age 8 and up are encouraged to wear masks in all indoor public settings and outdoors when they cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from others.
  • Iowa 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Gov. Kim Reynolds lifted the state’s mask mandate Feb. 7, issuing a new emergency order that drops rules on face-covering and social distancing in favor of encouraging “reasonable public health measures” to reduce COVID-19 transmission in public places and private gatherings. 
  • Kansas 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • On April 1, Republican lawmakers in Kansas ended the mandate, following an executive order from Gov. Laura Kelly to keep the mandate in place.
    Kentucky 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • On June 11, Kentucky's mask mandate ended along with State's remaining health restrictions.
  • Louisiana 
    • Statewide Mandate: Yes
    • On August 4, Gov. Edwards reinstated the mask mandate on a temporary basis requiring individuals ages 5 and older to wear a mask indoor public spaces. 
  • Maine 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Effective May 24,  Maine will align with CDC guidance and allow fully vaccinated individuals to not wear face coverings indoors. 
  • Maryland 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Gov. Larry Hogan ended the state's general mask mandate on May 15.  The state Department of Heath "strongly recommends" that Marylanders over age 2 who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear masks in indoor public spaces and outdoors when unable to maintain physical distancing. 
  • Massachusetts 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Effective May 29, MA  will align with CDC guidance and allow fully vaccinated individuals to not wear face coverings indoors. 
  • Michigan 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Effective June 22, capacity in both indoor and outdoor settings will increase to 100% and the state will no longer require residents to wear a face mask. 
  • Minnesota 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Minnesota will align with CDC guidance and recommend unvaccinated Minnesotans continue to wear face coverings indoors
  • Mississippi 
    • Statewide MandateNo
    • Gov. Tate Reeves had issued an order mandating masks in indoor public settings in counties with high COVID-19 case rates which expired on March 3rd. 
  • Missouri 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • The state Department of Health and Senior Services recommends wearing a face-covering in public. 
  • Montana 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Gov. Greg Gianforte rescinded the state’s mask mandate on Feb. 12. 
  • Nebraska 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Masks are required for both clients and staff at barbershops, salons, and other personal-care businesses. They are recommended for restaurant employees and for the general population when in public. 
  • Nevada 
    • Statewide Mandate: Yes
    • Gov. Steve Sisolak issued a directive May 13 aligning the state with the CDC mask guidelines. 
  • New Hampshire  
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Gov. Chris Sununu allowed the state's mask order to expire on April 16. State officials continue to encourage face-covering in public and local governments can still require it. 
  • New Jersey 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    •  On May 17, Gov. Phil Murphy lifted the state's outdoor mask mandate. On May 28, the state's indoor mask mandate was lifted, although masks are still required while using public transportation, in health care settings, long-term care facilities, and child care settings, among others.
    New Mexico 
    • Statewide Mandate: Yes
    • The state health department adjusted its public health emergency order on April 28 to reflect the CDC recommendations. 
  • New York 
    • Statewide Mandate: Yes
    • The state will adopt the CDC guidance on May 19, ending mask requirements for fully vaccinated people. Businesses and venues may require proof of vaccination to meet mask or social distancing requirements. 
  • North Carolina 
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Gov. Roy Cooper ended the state's general mask mandate on May 14.
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
    • Statewide MandateNo
    • The state's mask mandate expired June 2 as the Ohio Department of Health lifted most other pandemic health orders. 
  • Oklahoma
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Gov. Kevin Stitt has called on Oklahomans to wear masks in public but rejected calls for a state mandate. Local mask mandates in the state's largest cities, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, ended April 30 and May 1, respectively.
  • Oregon
    • Statewide Mandate: Yes
    • On Aug. 24, Gov.Brown announced a new rule that will require people in Oregon to mask in most public outdoor settings — regardless of vaccination status — where physical distancing is not possible. The rule will go into effect Friday, Aug. 27.
    Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
    • Territory-wide Mandate: Yes
    • Gov. Pedro Pierluisi has extended his COVID-19 health order, including a requirement that Puerto Ricans mask up in public places, until at least May 23.
  • Rhode Island
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • On July 6, Gov. McKee terminated state's mask mandate along with several other COVID-19 health orders.
  • South Carolina
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order on May 11 prohibiting local governments and school districts from requiring masks. The new order encourages South Carolinians who have not been fully vaccinated to wear masks in public settings. 
  • South Dakota
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • The South Dakota Department of Health recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
  • Tennessee
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Gov. Bill Lee has urged Tennesseans to wear masks in public places but has not imposed a statewide mandate. 
  • Texas
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the mask mandate on March 10. His new directive says Texans are "strongly encouraged" to wear masks in public but it bars local governments from enforcing their own face-covering mandates.
  • Utah
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Utah's 5-month-old face-covering mandate ended April 10 under state legislation that phases out various COVID-19 public health restrictions. 
  • Vermont
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Gov. Phil Scott announced that Vermont would follow the CDC guidance and drop mask rules for people vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Virginia
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Gov. Ralph Northam said on May 14 that Virginia is "lifting our universal mask mandate consistent with CDC guidance" and that fully vaccinated people can go maskless in most public settings.
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • On June 20, 2021, Gov. Justice announced that he has signed an executive order, officially lifting West Virginia’s Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement for all residents, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
    • Statewide Mandate: No
    • Gov. Mark Gordon rescinded the state's 3-month-old mask mandate on March 16. The state health department continues to recommend mask use in public places.