Policies on Required Use of Masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
An Updated Nationwide Review
[i]

This is an excerpt in HTML. Use the linked PDF Edition for latest and full text
 .
Date: Sept. 2020                          
By Richard Cauchi, health policy research, Colorado Ideas 2.0 [ii]   
 

OVERVIEW: The use of cloth face coverings or face masks has been one of the central issues, and tools, in the global fight to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is striking because, only since late March, this has become a simple, low cost or no-cost action that virtually any individual can take.

The CDC now officially recommends use of such masks, as of April 4. (p. 9) As widely agreed, they can prevent person-to-person COVID infections and literally save lives in any local or neighborhood setting, worldwide. The device can be a simple, do-it-yourself one, using age-old, low-tech cloth material (including multilayer cloth or if necessary, a cotton bandana or scarf.) With home-made or commercially sewn face coverings now encouraged worldwide (costing between free and a few dollars), literally hundreds of millions of people globally can protect themselves. i  
> Read more about the science, scarcity and economics of face coverings, p. 9 and sources, p. 11.
Side view of an individual wearing a cloth face covering, which conceals their mouth and nose areas and has a string looped behind the visible ear to hold the covering in place. The top of the covering is positioned just below the eyes and the bottom extends down to cover the chin. The visible side of the covering extends to cover approximately half of the individual’s cheek. STATES AND LOCALS IN THE LEAD: In the U.S., there are now more than 42 states and territories, including regional and local jurisdictions, that have acted on the medically indicated need to make mask/face covering use a mandatory, legal requirement, not just a recommendation. Some orders are broadly designed for individuals in public settings and/or employees in public-use buildings. Others are focused or limited to certain specified employees or professions. A new estimate is that by early August about 251 million residents were or protected or affected by statewide orders, or about 75 percent of the nation and territories.[i] Another 34 million resided in counties and cities with mainly local mandatory orders, for a national total of about 285 million or 85 percent of the population.v (national totals updated Aug. 7)
    This difference became more distinct and urgent, with the phased reopening of businesses and federal, state and local orders allowing indoor dining and group gatherings.  For these next phases, the broader, near-universal use of masks in “appropriate settings” is seen as a low-cost tool that supports community interaction and freedom of movement. Compared to lockdowns and “stay-at-home” orders, required masks, combined with required 6-foot social distancing and handwashing become the three tools that allow businesses and recreation to reopen more safely.  More recently, some states have added enforcement and even fines for non-compliance.
 
This report is a review of latest data on states and other jurisdictions that have moved to increase the use of masks and cloth face coverings, especially describing those with mandatory or required uses. The lists below include links to sources and citations, but the document itself is not intended as legal or medical advice. Some mandatory use plans have pending expiration dates or may be rescinded due to opposition. Because all policies are subject to change, sometimes on short notice, readers should note listed dates and also use source web links to identify future updates. 
 
STATES: Mandated Cloth Face Coverings/Masks in Public
 
RECENT CHANGES & NEWS:  Colorado (July 17), Arkansas (July 20), Mississippi (August 4 & July 20) Alabama (July 16), Ohio (July 17), Indiana (July 27), Minnesota (July 25),  Montana (July 15), Kentucky (July 10), Texas (July 3), Kansas (July 3), Louisiana (July 13) and West Virginia (July 7) and Wisconsin (August 1) governors each imposed a broad required use of masks order for the first time or expanded earlier limited requirements.      
>  “Masks do work:” latest medical science data.  
>  Special mask requirements only for schools are not tallied in this report.

 

This table integrates NGA, ASTHO, Masks4All [i], AMA, author research and a university-based collaboration that measures 30 policy or legal actions by states. *Excerpts accessed 4/28 – 8/14/2020. This report only covers face masks and cloth coverings. For legal text and details, see pp. 3-9.  The category “essential businesses” now also includes individuals or employees in public-facing businesses, with exceptions for safety and medical conditions. [iii],
Key: Dark shading = broader application | Light shading = limited application    (a visual guide only; see notes)
State
State of emergency
Mandate face mask use by some/all individuals in public spaces
Mandate face mask use by employees in public-facing businesses
Face mask statewide  ”recommended”
 
(NGA data)
Alabama .
3/13/2020
(also cities)     
7/16/2020
* (also cities)
5/11/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Alaska .
3/11/2020
(order lifted; now recommended)
5/22/2020
(order lifted; now recommended)
5/22/2020
Yes
Arizona .
3/11/2020
(state order lifted; now cities/counties)
5/2020
(state order lifted; now cities/counties)
Partial 5/7/2020
Yes
Arkansas .
3/11/2020
7/20/2020
5/11/2020
Yes, besides mandate
California .
3/4/2020
* (+ major cities & counties) 6/18/2020
* (+ major cities & counties)  .  5/2020; 6/18/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Colorado .
3/11/2020
* (major cities & counties)  7/17/2020
7/17/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Connecticut .
3/10/2020
4/20/2020
4/3/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Delaware  .
3/13/2020
4/28/2020
5/1/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Dist. of Columbia
3/11/2020
  (certain businesses)
4/15/2020
  (certain businesses)
4/15/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Florida
3/9/2020
* (cities & counties)  0
* (+ cities & counties)         
(certain businesses)     5/2020
yes
Georgia
3/14/2020
 * (cities & counties)  0
(certain businesses)    4/23/2020
yes
Hawaii
3/4/2020
  (certain businesses)
4/16/2020
(certain businesses)
4/16/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Idaho
3/13/2020
* (major cities & counties) 0
*  major cities & counties) 0
yes
Illinois
3/9/2020
5/1/2020
5/1/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Indiana
3/6/2020
(certain businesses)
 7/27/2020
 (certain businesses)
5/4/2020
yes
Iowa
3/17/2020
0
0
yes
Kansas
3/12/2020
* 7/3/2020
6/29/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Kentucky  .
3/6/2020
7/10/2020
(businesses must provide)
7/10/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Louisiana 
3/11/2020
7/13/2020
 
5/1/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Maine
3/15/2020
5/1/2020
5/1/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Maryland
3/5/2020
4/18/2020
4/18/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Massachusetts .
3/10/2020
5/6/2020
5/6/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Michigan .
3/10/2020
4/26/2020
4/26/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Minnesota
3/13/2020
7/25/2020
(order lifted;; then restored
7/25/2020
yes
Mississippi
3/14/2020
(certain businesses& counties)
8/6/2020; 5/8/2020
(certain businesses & counties)
5/7/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Missouri
3/13/2020
0
0
yes
Montana
3/12/2020
(certain counties& city)
7/15/2020
(certain counties)
7/15/2020
yes
Nebraska
3/13/2020
(certain businesses)
  * 5/4/2020
 (certain businesses)
 * 5/4/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Nevada
3/12/2020
6/26/2020
 (most businesses)
 * 5/4/2020
Yes, besides mandate
New Hampshire
3/13/2020
**(all health facilities)
(certain businesses)
5/1/2020
Yes, besides mandate
New Jersey
3/9/2020
(certain businesses)
4/8/2020
4/8/2020
Yes, besides mandate
New Mexico
3/11/2020
5/4/2020
(certain businesses)
5/2020
yes
New York
3/7/2020
4/17/2020
4/17/2020
Yes, besides mandate
North Carolina
3/10/2020
* (+ cities & counties) 6/26/20200
* (cities & counties)
6/26/2020
Yes, besides mandate
North Dakota .
3/13/2020
0
(order lifted; recommended only)
4/28/2020
Yes
Ohio
3/9/2020
(certain counties)
7/17/2020
(certain businesses & counties)
4/29/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Oklahoma
3/15/2020
 * (city) 0
* (city) 0
yes
Oregon
3/8/2020
(certain counties)
7/1/2020
(certain counties & businesses)
5/7/2020; 6/22/2020
yes
Pennsylvania
3/6/2020
(order lifted & reimposed)
7/1/2020
4/19/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Rhode Island
3/9/2020
4/18/2020
4/18/2020
Yes, besides mandate
South Carolina
3/13/2020
* (cities & counties)  0
* (cities & counties)  0
yes
South Dakota
3/13/2020
0
0
yes
Tennessee
3/12/2020
(certain businesses)
4/29/2020
(certain businesses)
4/29/2020
yes
Texas .
3/19/2020
* (cities & counties) 7/3/2020
* (cities & counties)
7/3/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Utah  .
3/6/2020
6/26/2020
(order lifted & reimposed)
6/26/2020
 * Yes
Vermont
3/13/2020
(certain businesses)
4/17/2020
(certain businesses)
4/17/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Virginia .
3/12/2020
(certain businesses)
5/29/2020
(certain businesses)
5/29/2020
yes
Washington
2/29/2020
(certain businesses)
 (+cities & counties)   6/2020
(certain businesses)
 (+cities & counties)     5/4/2020
yes
West Virginia
3/16/2020
(order lifted, then reimposed)
6/7/2020
(order lifted; then reimposed)
5/4/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Wisconsin -new-
3/12/2020
8/1/2020
6/1/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Wyoming
3/13/2020
(certain businesses)
5/1/2020
(certain businesses)
5/1/2020
Yes, besides mandate
Total for policy
51
35* statewide (+ local)
 *  44 statewide (+ local)
51
Updated 9/10/2020      
 
 

This is an excerpt in HTML. Use the linked PDF Edition for latest and full text

MORE REPORTS: