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Are face masks required where you live? Here are the rules for all 50 states

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James Martin / CNET
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As the US re-opens after coronavirus blockades across the country, national governments and local health officials are taking steps to protect us if we venture to the public. One of the most visible measures is the widespread use of face coverings which have recently been shown to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading by limiting the forward distance traveled by a person's exhaled breath.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that everyone wear a face mask in public, there is no federal mandate to oblige people to do so. If not, states are left to their own discretion when ordering and enforcing the wearing of face coverings . To help you navigate the confusing differences between face mask mandates, we've broken down what is the situation in each state.

Rules may vary depending on the city where you are located, so if you have more specific questions, please contact your local authority. This story is updated as the situation develops.


In most counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, residents must wear face coverings when outside, except when exercising or exercising fresh air. The order is simply a recommendation in Napa County. In Los Angeles County, face covers are always required when you are outside your home no matter what you do.

In San Diego County, masks are required, but only if they are less than six feet from others. A violation of these orders is officially a criminal offense, but many police forces across the state have announced that they will not uphold the orders.

If you're in California, make sure your face cover doesn't have a visor – these masks are banned in much of the state because they allow exhaled air and droplets to escape.

New York [19659009] Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an enforcement order on April 15 requiring people to wear face cover in public places where social distance is not possible, such as while driving on public transportation. Cuomo said the order will be upheld and residents could be fined for failing to comply with the mandate, but on May 15, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that the NYPD will no longer uphold the order, except in the case of "serious danger". "


On April 15, Governor Larry Hogan signed an order for Maryland residents to start wearing face coverings in food and retail businesses and taking public transportation. The order says this will be a requirement as long as The state of emergency is still in effect On April 17, the Maryland Police Department had already charged 45 people for violating the executive warrant.


The state is executing an order to wear face masks in essential companies , and those who do not wear masks will be refused entry Governor Tom Wolf also advised people to wear outdoor coverings.


On April 17, Governor David Ige issued an executive order obliging people to have face covers to carry while (or outside of waiting for) essential companies Violation of the rule counts as a crime, but enforcement i It's unclear – Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said companies would enforce the rule and that it is "the public's duty to comply."

New Jersey

On April 8, Governor Phil Murphy was one of the first to Enforcement Order, in which people were required to wear masks in essential companies, and recommended that they always be worn in public. On April 11, he announced an order extension that applies to people who pick up takeout orders from restaurants. Establishments themselves are said to be in charge of executing the orders.


On April 20, Governor Ned Lamont demanded that residents wear a face mask in public areas where close contact is unavoidable. The executive order also includes ride sharing and public transportation. Lamont says the warrant is "mostly common sense" and expects people to apply the rule themselves, although companies can also deny access to people who don't wear face cover.


Michigan residents must now wear a face mask in enclosed public areas, such as grocery stores. All companies are required to provide their employees with masks to wear on the job. On April 24, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the requirements for wearing face masks in all public indoor areas. However, the implementing decree specifically states that people who do not wear a mask cannot be prosecuted. Whitmer argues that her "fervent hope is that people take this seriously."


As of May 1, Illinois residents are required to wear face coverings while they are in public places where social distance measures are difficult to enforce, such as supermarkets, pharmacies and other essential businesses. Governor JB Pritzker says enforcement will be at the local level and that the police will not arrest or fine people who do not comply.


As of May 11, residents of Kentucky must wear face coverings while visiting or working in an essential company or publicly around other people. Under the order, people don't need to wear face cover during exercise. Governor Andy Beshear says residents will not be quoted or arrested for not wearing masks. He also says he expects the order to take effect until a vaccine is developed.


Mid-April Gov. Jared Polis demanded that all supermarket and other essential employee employees wear face shields while working, but did not extend that requirement to members of the general public. However, most major cities and counties, including Denver, Boulder, and Aspen, set their own orders that people should wear face covering in public areas where social distance is difficult to maintain. Denver also doesn't allow flap masks, and offenders risk a fine of $ 999 per quote.


On May 26, Governor Ralph Northam announced that everyone in Virginia over the age of 10 must wear face coverage in public places such as shops, restaurants, public transportation, and everywhere people gather. There is no legal enforcement for this order.

Other states have similar rules. Here is a brief summary:

  • Alabama : Birmingham requires face covering in public places, but not during exercise.
  • Alaska : State health officials recommend masks, but this is not mandatory.
  • Arizona : Not a statewide order, but multiple companies need face cover for access.
  • Arkansas : A state health directive requires that all employees of essential companies wear face coverings, as well as customers as long as they do not eat or drink.
  • Delaware : As of May 1, Governor John Carney requires residents to wear face covering in public places where social distance is not possible.
  • Florida : Starting in early May, several local municipalities, such as Orange County, began demanding face masks in public institutions. On April 30, Governor Ron DeSantis recommended, but did not require, the use of facial covers for residents of the state.
  • Georgia : On May 1, when the order for statewide shelter expired, Governor Brian Kemp and state health officials asked residents to wear face cover while in public places.
  • Idaho : As of May 29, Idaho is in phase 2 of reopening. Residents are strongly advised to wear masks, but this is not mandatory.
  • Iowa : From May 13, Iowa begins to reopen, and the United States Department of Public Health requires workers to wear masks. Iowans are strongly encouraged by experts to wear a face mask, but this is not mandatory.
  • Indiana : State health officials recommend wearing face masks in public.
  • Kansas : Governor Laura Kelly recommends that everyone residents wear face coverings in public.
  • Louisiana : From May 1, Governor John Bel Edwards will require face shields for all employees who interact with the public.

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  • Maine : On April 30, Governor Janet Mills mandated that everyone should wear face masks in public places where social distance cannot be maintained. The state will remain at home until May 31.
  • Massachusetts : As of May 6, Governor Charlie Baker has ordered residents to wear face covers in public places where social detachment is difficult to maintain.
  • Minnesota : As of June 1, Mayor St. Paul Melvin Carter requires patrons to wear masks in public places. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey signed a similar order that went into effect on May 26.
  • Mississippi : As of May 12, Governor Tate Reeves issued an enforceable title requiring masks in public in seven rural counties with the fastest rate of coronavirus.
  • Missouri : Governor Mike Parson says wearing a face covering is "up to the individual," although health officials recommend that everyone do this.
  • Montana : The state is set to move to phase 2 of reopening on June 1, and Governor Steve Bullock strongly recommends that residents continue to wear face masks.
  • Nebraska : As Lancaster County begins to open, face masks are required to enter public institutions and comparable measurements are in effect throughout the state. This measure is effective until at least June 30.
  • Nevada : Governor Steve Sisolak asks all Nevadans to wear a face mask when the state enters phase 2 of reopening on May 29.
  • New Hampshire : There is no statewide mandate, but on May 22, Nashua City Council approved a mandate requiring people to wear face masks when entering a public facility, or fined $ 1,000 Pay.
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  • New Mexico : As of May 16, all residents of New Mexico must wear face masks while in public. Places of worship and businesses are beginning to reopen in the state with limited capacity.
  • North Carolina : Durham County requires the use of face masks in public, although no one is refused public transportation if they do not wear one.
  • North Dakota : On May 1, Governor Doug Burgum began reopening the state without the need for face covers.
  • Ohio : On April 27, Governor Mike DeWine announced that face masks should be worn in stores, but the order was withdrawn the following day following public outrage.
  • Oklahoma : Governor Kevin Stitt said on May 20 that he will not require residents to wear face cover. Stillwater Mayor Will Joyce revoked a face-covering mandate on May 1 after physical and verbal threats to employees of vital companies.
  • Oregon : Governor Kate Brown demands facial covers for employees of essential companies and recommends that customers wear them too. She also recommends that people wear facial coverings indoors. The state gradually reopened on May 15.
  • Rhode Island : As of May 8, all Rhode Islanders in public areas, both indoors and outdoors, must wear face masks. The state will enter phase 1 of reopening on June 1.
  • South Carolina : The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control strongly encourages people to wear face covering in public.
  • South Dakota : The South Dakota Department of Health recommends that people wear face covers, although they are optional.
  • Tennessee : Starting May 11, Nashville companies will reopen. Residents are recommended, but not required, to wear a face mask.
  • Texas : As of April 28, Governor Greg Abbott recommends that all residents wear a face mask in public, but recommend that the recommendation should not be enforced. The order has overturned the face-covering mandates of several provinces.
  • Utah : As of May 2, Utah Governor Gary Herbert requires that all employees wear face shields when working with clients. Other residents are recommended to do the same.
  • Vermont : Governor Phil Scott said on April 27 that he has no intention of requiring facial coverings, explaining that "people are sticking to" the proposed measures from the CDC. [19659042] Washington : Public health officials in King County, including Seattle and Bellevue, have issued a guideline for people to wear face cover when in public areas where social distance is not possible. No legal enforcement is planned.
  • West Virginia : Residents are advised to wear face covering while in public places where social distance is difficult to maintain.
  • Wisconsin : Face masks are recommended for Wisconsin residents.
  • Wyoming : As of early April, health officials from Wyoming state recommend that residents wear face covering in public. Governor Mark Gordon has repeated the recommendation, but has not issued a national order.

Again, check with your local government for the most current guidelines. And remember: facial covers are no substitute for social distance and hand washing.

For more information on how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, you should know the following about making fabric coverings at home, where to buy face masks online, and what to do if someone you are living with is getting coronavirus.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care professional if you have questions about a medical condition or health goals.

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