Which Cities, Counties, and States Are Changing Their Mask Mandates?

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With COVID-19 cases reaching what seemed to be their peak last month, people across the U.S. and the rest of the world are beginning to feel comfortable going out unmasked again. Many cities, counties, and states in the U.S. have officially lifted their mask requirements, but is your location one of them? Read on below to find out.

States

As of now, the majority of states have completely lifted their general mask requirement for all indoor places. These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

Connecticut, Illinois, and Oregon have not yet formally lifted their state-mandated mask requirements, but have set a date to do so within the next month. Additionally, California has now dropped its mask requirement for vaccinated individuals, but those who are unvaccinated will still be asked to wear masks.

The only states that continue to enforce a broad mask mandate are Hawaii, Washington, and New Mexico.

States that never had mandates

11 of the 50 states never imposed mask mandates in the first place, including Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee. While certain cities or counties within these states might have had mandates, masks were never required on a state level.

Masks in schools

While most states have done away with their general masking policy, some are still enforcing the wearing of masks in K-12 schools. States with a statewide policy about masking in schools include Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.

The majority of states have given local school boards the freedom to choose whether to require masks in school, so many students and teachers across the country are still wearing masks regardless of their state’s lifting of the restrictions.

Counties

Individual counties have the freedom to set mandates regardless of their state’s policies, except in some states like Iowa and Florida where state governors or legislature have banned mask mandates in counties and cities within the state. Many counties have chosen to keep mask mandates in force, predominantly counties with a high population density.

Examples include Los Angeles and Santa Clara Counties in California, the Washington and King Counties in Oregon, Dallas County in Texas, and others throughout the country. 

Cities

Many large cities are also choosing to keep their masking requirements in place. Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Washington D.C., and many other cities still have mask requirements. Additionally, some cities are continuing to require masks for the unvaccinated or only in certain situations like public transport and large gatherings. 

Visit the website for your state, county, or city health department to find more details about restrictions in your area. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website is also a great resource to see developments related to the vaccine and other COVID-19 news.

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