While states move forward with relaxing coronavirus restrictions, a handful of have begun issuing new orders for face masks to be worn in public to stop the spread of COVID-19. While some are requiring face coverings for everyone, others are limiting the order to just workers.
Some states have issued suggestions that people wear masks in public or have allowed local jurisdictions to decide, but have not made it mandatory.
Here is a brief look at states that have issued statewide orders for masks. In general, face mask requirements have made exceptions for people with medical conditions or for children under the age of 2.
It's important to note that states and other jurisdictions are updating their coronavirus rules often. Be sure to check with your local government to find out its current requirements.
A statewide order requires people to wear masks when inside or in line for any indoor public spaces, in healthcare settings like hospitals and pharmacies, while waiting for or riding public transportation and in outdoor spaces where it's not possible to stay 6 feet apart from others.
Residents are required to wear cloth face coverings in public spaces if they can't maintain safe social distance. The mask must cover their nose and mouth. It must also be worn while using taxis, car, delivery ride-sharing or similar services or public transportation.
Those over the age of 12 are required to wear face coverings in public when social distancing cannot be maintained, such as grocery stores or public transportation. Coverings are recommended but not required for children ages 2-11. Businesses must require employees to wear face coverings while working in areas open to the public or if they are likely to come within 6 feet of other staff.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said she would issue an executive order mandating the use of masks in public starting July 3 to stop the spread of COVID-19. Kelly’s executive order would require every Kansan to wear a mask if they are around other people. More specific guidance was forthcoming.
People must wear, at minimum, homemade, non-medical grade face coverings when they enter enclosed public spaces. Employers must provide at least cloth face coverings to their employees. No one will be subject to criminal penalty for going without a mask.
It is part of Governor Janet Mills' Stay-Safer-At-Home Executive Order. The people of Maine are required to wear cloth face coverings when they are in public places where social distancing can't be maintained.
Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Wednesday that Nevada will mandate the use of face coverings in public places in an effort to stem an increase of coronavirus cases that has hit the state as casinos, restaurants and other businesses began reopening. “No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service,” Sisolak said, distilling the policy down to a tagline.
Everyone is required to wear a face covering when outside of their home if they cannot maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, even outdoors. Face coverings are required on public transportation regardless if social distancing can be maintained. Businesses not following the mandate will be cited by licensing and regulatory authorities as well as Nevada’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Sisolak said he hoped individuals would abide by the mandate so penalties for not doing so wouldn't be necessary.
As phase 2 continued on at the end of June, North Carolina's governor said the state would continue to require face masks while in public places. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced on June 24 that masks were mandatory in public spaces and that the state would remain in a "Safer-At-Home Phase 2" order for an additional three weeks.
Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday that people throughout Oregon will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces starting July 1 to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The guidance applies to businesses and members of the public visiting indoor public spaces, she said in a news release.
Required when entering any business in all counties in the state in the yellow and green phases of reopening.
Washington state implemented a statewide requirement for people to wear facial coverings in public settings on June 26. The order requires face coverings when people are indoors in a public area, and outdoors in a public area when six feet of physical distancing can't be maintained.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.