COVID | Vaccine Mandate Insights | June 09, 2022

State by State Face Mask Mandates

BY Eram Abbasi

Over the course of the pandemic, 39 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia had orders broadly requiring people to wear masks in public. Eleven states did not impose mandates at any point. Several states, including Florida, Iowa, Montana, Tennessee and Texas, have moved via legislation or executive action to prevent local governments and school districts from mandating. Where there are no state or local requirements, businesses and other private entities may set their own mask policies. Here’s where each state stands on the use of face masks as of June 9.

Alabama

  • Alabama’s mask mandate expired on April 9, 2021. The state Department of Public Health recommends face-covering in public as part of its COVID-19 safety guidance.

Alaska 

  • Alaska’s Department of Health Social Services “strongly encourages the wearing of masks in public,” but the state has not required it. Juneau, the state capital, downgraded its indoor mask requirement to a recommendation Feb. 28.

Arizona

  • On March 25, Gov. Ducey lifted all state COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and barred cities and counties from enforcing mask mandates except in government buildings and on public transit.

Arkansas

  • Gov. Asa Hutchinson lifted his 8-month-old mask mandate on March 30, 2021. 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

  • The mask mandate was lifted on March 1 2022. The state continues to strongly recommend face-covering for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in indoor public settings. Masks remain mandatory statewide in health care and long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, and homeless and emergency shelters.

Colorado 

  • Gov. Jared Polis signed an Executive Order on May 14, 2021. 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  

  • The mask mandate was lifted on Feb. 28, 2022. Previously, masks were required for unvaccinated people age 2 and over in indoor public places. Masking remains mandatory for all in health care settings such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, and urgent care centers; long-term care facilities; and shelters.

Delaware

  •  Masking is recommended for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated Delawareans in public places. Face coverings are required of staff, vendors contractors, and visitors to long-term care facilities, and hospitals regardless of vaccination status.

District of Columbia

  • Face-covering is no longer required in retail businesses, entertainment venues, and most other public settings but remains mandatory in libraries, health care facilities, long-term care facilities, shelters, and District government buildings in which employees interact with the public.

Florida

  • Florida recommends but has not required face coverings for the general public.

Georgia

  • Gov. Brian Kemp revised his coronavirus health order on Aug. 15, 2021, prohibiting local governments to impose mask rules.

Hawaii

  • Masks are strongly recommended for people over age 65, with compromised immune systems, who care for people at risk of severe illness and those unvaccinated for COVID-19.

Idaho

  • The State’s Stay Healthy Guidelines, updated on May 11, 2021, aligned with CMS recommendations.

Illinois

  •  In February 2022, Gov. Pritzker announced Illinois to lift the statewide Indoor mask requirement

Indiana

  • Mask mandate became a “mask advisory” on April 6, 2021.  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

  • Gov. Kim Reynolds lifted the state’s mask mandate on 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

  • In May 2021, KS ended its mask mandate.

Kentucky

  • On June 11, 2021, Kentucky’s mask mandate ended along with State’s remaining health restrictions.

Louisiana

  • Gov. John Bel Edwards lifted the state’s general indoor mask order on Oct. 27, 2021, as a delta-fueled spike in COVID-19 cases eased.

Maine

  • Effective May 24,  Maine will align with CDC guidance and allow fully vaccinated individuals to not wear face coverings indoors.

Maryland 

  • Gov. Larry Hogan ended the state’s general mask mandate on May 15, 2021.  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 

  • Effective May 29, 2021, MA  will align with CDC guidance and allow fully vaccinated individuals to not wear face coverings indoors.

Michigan

  • Effective June 22, 2021 capacity in both indoor and outdoor settings will increase to 100% and the state will no longer require residents to wear a face.

Minnesota

  • Minnesota will align with CDC guidance and recommend unvaccinated Minnesotans continue to wear face coverings indoors

Mississippi

  • Gov. Tate Reeves lifted Mississippi’s statewide mask requirement on Sept. 30 2021.

Missouri

  • The state Department of Health and Senior Services recommends wearing a face-covering in public.

Montana

  • Gov. Greg Gianforte rescinded the state’s mask mandate on Feb. 12, 2021.

Nebraska

  • The state Department of Health and Human Services recommends people wear face coverings in public when unable to maintain social distancing

Nevada

  • Gov. Sisolak ended the mask mandate on February 10. 2022.

New Hampshire

  • Gov. Chris Sununu allowed the state’s mask order to expire on April 16, 2021. State officials continue to encourage face-covering in public and local governments can still require it.

New Jersey

  • On May 17, 2021, 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 childcare settings, among others.

New Mexico

  • Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham lifted the state’s indoor mask order Feb. 17, 2022.

New York

  • Gov. Kathy Hochul lifted the state’s general mask order Feb. 10, 2022.

North Carolina

  • Gov. Roy Cooper ended the state’s general mask mandate on May 14 2021.

North Dakota

  • ND aligns with CDC recommendations

Ohio

  • The state’s mask mandate expired June 2, 2021, as the Ohio Department of Health lifted most other pandemic health orders.

Oklahoma

  • Gov. Kevin Stitt has called on Oklahomans to wear masks in public but rejected calls for a state mandate.

Oregon

  • On Feb. 2022, Gov. Kate lifted the mask mandate.

Pennsylvania

  • The Mask mandate was rescinded on June 28, 2021.

Puerto Rico

  • Gov. Pedro Pierluisi lifted the territory’s face-covering mandate March 10, 2022.

Rhode Island

  • Gov. Dan McKee’s mask-or vaccine order expired on Feb. 11, 2022.

South Carolina

  • Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order on May 11, 2021, prohibiting local governments and school districts from requiring masks. The order encourages South Carolinians who have not been fully vaccinated to wear masks in public settings.

South Dakota

  • 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

  • Gov. Bill Lee has urged Tennesseans to wear masks in public places but has not imposed a statewide mandate.

Texas

  • Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the mask mandate on March 10 2021. 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

  • Utah’s 5-month-old face-covering mandate ended April 10, 2021, under state legislation that phases out various COVID-19 public health restrictions.

Vermont

  • Gov. Phil Scott announced that Vermont would follow the CDC guidance and drop mask rules for people vaccinated against COVID-19.

Virginia

  • Gov. Ralph Northam lifted the mask mandate on May 14, 2021.

Washington

  • The state’s indoor mask order ended on March 12, 2022, and its mandate for masking at large outdoor events was lifted Feb. 18, 2022. Face-covering remains mandatory for people aged 5 and older in health care, long-term care and correctional facilities.

West Virginia

  • 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

  • Follows the CDC guidance.

Wyoming

  • Gov. Mark Gordon rescinded the state’s 3-month-old mask mandate on March 16, 2021. The state health department continues to recommend mask use in public places.