Which States Require a Face Mask?

These states require people to wear face masks when they are in public

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Almost half of U.S. states and Washington, D.C. require people to wear face masks in public as new coronavirus cases begin to surge. The U.S. has more than 3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19.

To slow the spread, the CDC has recommended the use of cloth face coverings. OSHA recommends workers wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent the spread of the virus.

Get Your Free Printable “Face Mask Required” Signs for Your Business 

Read below for a list of states that mandate the use of masks …

Editor’s note: This article was last updated on July 31, 2020 

Alabama

Residents of Alabama must wear a face covering if they are in public. Governor Kay Ivey’s order requires everyone over the age of 6 to wear a mask when they are within 6 feet of a person from another household while in an indoor space, riding public transit, or an outdoor space where more than 10 people are gathered.

Arizona

Employees and customers of hair salons and cosmetologists are required to wear a mask.

Is is recommended for other businesses and residents.

Arkansas

People over the age of 9 are required to wear a face covering if they are unable to social distance by 6 feet or more.

Restaurants with dine-in services are required to have customer-facing staff wear a mask. Employees of gyms and patrons working out are also required to wear a mask.

California

On June 18, the California Department of Health released a memo mandating people in California must wear face coverings when they are in high-risk situations, including:

  • Inside, or waiting in line to enter, any indoor public space
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Waiting in line or riding public transportation or ridesharing
  • Work
  • Where food is prepared
  • In common areas (stairs, hallways, elevators, parking facilities)
  • Any enclosed our public outdoor areas where you are unable to physically distance

Colorado

Governor Jared Polis issued a statewide mask order on July 16. “Today, I’m signing an executive order that’s effective at midnight tonight that requires that every Coloradan, age 10 and up, wear a mask or face covering whenever they’re in public,” Polis said.

Connecticut

Governor Ned Lamont issued an executive order on April 10, which reads “any person in a public place in Connecticut who is unable to or does not maintain a safe social distance of approximately six feet from every other person shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face-covering.”

Delaware

Governor John Carney issued a mandate requiring people to wear face masks in public places, including stores, doctors offices, and in public transportation.

Florida

Personal care service providers and employees must wear face masks. Many counties have mandates concerning face masks.

Georgia

Employees of restaurants, bars, personal care businesses, and entertainment venues must wear masks. It is recommended for the general public.

Hawaii

Honolulu mayor Kirk Caldwell signed a mandate requiring people to wear face masks indoors and when they are not able to social distance outdoors.

All customers must wear a face covering while waiting to enter or in a business. Employees who come in contact with the public must wear face coverings.

Illinois

Everyone over the age of 2 who can medically tolerate a face mask must wear one in public spaces. This includes:

  • Shopping at essential businesses, like grocery stores or pharmacies
  • Picking up food from the drive thru or curbside
  • Visiting a health care provider
  • Traveling on public transportation
  • Interacting with customers, clients, or coworkers at essential businesses
  • Performing essential services for state and local government agencies, such as laboratory testing, where close interactions with other people are unavoidable
  • When feeling sick, coughing, or sneezing

Indiana

Employees of restaurants and personal care businesses must wear a face covering. People over the age of 7 must wear a face mask covering when inside a business or public space. Face coverings must be worn outdoors when social distancing can’t be enforced and when riding public transportation.

Kansas

Governor Laura Kelley signed an executive order requiring people to wear face masks in public spaces. The order went into effect July 3. Face masks must be worn in stores, shops, restaurants, and in any situation where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Kentucky

Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order requiring people over the age of 5 to wear face masks while in public. The order went into effect July 10 for a period of 30 days. Businesses must provide PPE to employees.

Louisiana

Employees of restaurants and businesses that come in contact with the public must wear face coverings. People over the age of 7 must wear a face covering when inside a business or space open to the public, including public transportation.

Maine

Governor Janet Mills is requiring businesses to enforce face coverings, or risk losing their license. The order applies to businesses in the cities and counties of:

  • Hancock
  • Waldo
  • Knox
  • Lincoln
  • Sagadahoc
  • Cumberland
  • York
  • Bangor
  • Brewer
  • Lewiston
  • Auburn
  • Augusta

Maine

People must wear a cloth face covering in public settings when social distancing can’t be maintained. Retail and restaurant employees must wear face masks.

Maryland

People are required to wear face masks in public places, according to Governor Larry Hogan’s executive order. The state put together an FAQ page to answer common questions about face mask use.

Massachusetts

Governor Baker issued an executive order requiring face masks in public places where social distancing is not possible, which applies to indoor and outdoor spaces.

Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order that reiterates people are required to wear face masks when they are in an indoor public space. Face masks are also required in crowded outdoor spaces where social distancing is not possible. A violation of the order is subject to a $500 fine.

Minnesota

Employees of restaurants and personal care businesses must wear a face covering. Face masks are recommended for everyone else.

Mississippi

Based on the Governor’s executive order 1507, the following counties must practice enhanced safety protocols, including the use of a mask or face covering in public and additional limits on social gathering sizes, beginning July 13, 2020.

  • Claiborne, De Soto, Grenada , Harrison, Hinds, Jackson, Jefferson, Madison, Quitman, Rankin, Sunflower, Washington, Wayne

In all businesses:

  • All employees are required to keep at least 6 feet from other employees, or wear a face mask.
  • All employees must be screened at the beginning of their shift.

In retail businesses:

  • Employees in contact with the public must wear a face covering.
  • Members of the public must wear a face covering at all times in a retail business.

Gatherings and events:

  • Social gatherings are limited to 10 individuals indoors and 20 outdoors, and a distance of at least six feet between individuals must be maintained.
  • A distance of six feet or more must be maintained between others at all public events, indoors and out, or else face coverings must be worn.

Montana

Governor Steve Bullock announced a mask mandate on July 15, which applies to counties with more than 4 active COVID-19 cases. The number of active cases can be found on the state’s online dashboard.

Counties with less than 4 actives are still encouraged to follow the mandate, which applies to people ages 5 and up in all indoor spaces. This includes businesses, nonprofits, offices, and public transportation. Masks are required in outdoor spaces with more than 50 people where social distancing is not possible.

For businesses, masks are required for all employees, volunteers, and contractors who interact with the public. Employers must provide face coverings and entrances must have signs stating masks are required. The state is also offering grants for businesses and nonprofits to purchase masks and other personal protective equipment.

Nebraska

Employees of personal care businesses and customers must wear masks.

Nevada

Governor Steve Sisolak issued a mandatory face mask policy on June 24. Anyone in a public space will need to wear a mask, including on public transportations, in businesses, or interacting with others.

New Hampshire

Employees of retail, restaurants, personal care businesses, and golf courses are required to wear a face covering.

New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy has pressed for a national requirement for facial coverings, which makes it no surprise that New Jersey has required people to wear face masks in indoor spaces since April. Since then, Murphy has mandated that face masks must be worn while outside and unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from other people.

New Mexico

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham required people to wear face masks in public places. Those who ignore the requirement are subject to a $100 fine. Businesses will see workplace citations and misdemeanor criminal charges.

New York

Governor Andrew Cuomo has mandated that all New Yorkers wear a face mask when social distancing is not possible.

North Carolina

Governor Roy Cooper issued a mandatory mask requirement across North Carolina. Businesses that do not follow the order are subject to citations and other penalties.

North Dakota

Employees of personal care businesses must wear a face covering.

Ohio

Governor Mike DeWine has required the use of face masks in the following 7 counties:

  • Butler
  • Cuyahoga
  • Franklin
  • Hamilton
  • Huron
  • Montgomery
  • Trumbull

Oregon

Governor Kate Brown issued a face mask mandate. People ages 12 and older have to wear a mask when they’re in public indoor spaces, including grocery stores, gyms, and shopping malls.

Pennsylvania

Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed a mandate requiring everyone to wear masks when outside the home.

The order includes that masks must be worn when:

  • Outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet from individuals who are not members of their household;
  • In any indoor location where members of the public are generally permitted;
  • Waiting for, riding on, driving, or operating public transportation or paratransit or while in a taxi, private car service or ride-sharing vehicle;
  • Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank; or
  • Engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when interacting in-person with any member of the public, working in any space visited by members of the public, working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others, working in or walking through common areas, or in any room or enclosed area where other people, except for members of the person’s own household or residence, are present when unable to physically distance

Rhode Island

Rhode Island has mandated face coverings since May. People are required to wear face masks when in a public space, both indoors and outdoors.

Tennessee

Governor Bill Lee signed an executive order granting county mayors the authority to issue local face mask requirements.

The following counties have issued requirements in certain situations. Check with your local health officials for details.

  • Wilson
  • Dickson
  • Montgomery
  • Sevier
  • Davidson
  • Robertson
  • Summer
  • Williamson
  • Knox
  • Shelby
  • Madison
  • Hamilton

Texas

Governor Greg Abbott issued a statewide executive order requiring people to wear masks in public, but allows counties to opt out if their COVID-19 cases are low.

Utah

Employees must wear a face covering when unable to maintain a social distance of 6 feet.

Vermont

All businesses must have their employees wear face coverings when in the presence of others.

Virginia

Face masks are mandatory in Virginia. Governor Ralph Northam mandated facial coverings beginning May 29. Masks are required for:

  • People ages 10 and up
  • Inside all retail establishments
  • Both essential and non-essential stores, including grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Personal care and grooming establishments
  • Any indoor space shared by groups of people who may congregate within 6 feet of one another or who are in close proximity to each other for more than 10 minutes
  • Inside restaurants and bars, except when eating
  • Public transportation
  • State and local government buildings and areas where the public accesses services
  • Entertainment or public amusement establishments, when permitted to open

Washington

The Washington State Department of Health requires people to wear a mask in public when they cannot maintain 6 feet away from each other. Face masks must be worn in indoor public settings, like the grocery stores, pharmacy, hardware stores, and healthcare facilities.

Washington, D.C.

People over the age of 9 must wear a face covering when in presence of other people or traveling. Businesses must require employees and contractors to wear masks. Retail workers must also wear gloves.

West Virginia

Governor Jim Justice announced on July 6 that all people 9 years and older had to wear a face covering at all indoor public places where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Wyoming

Employees and patrons of personal care businesses must wear face masks.

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