The states where face coverings are mandatory
Wyoming on Monday became the latest state to implement a mask mandate to fight COVID-19, amid a steep spike in cases across the country.
- "Science tells us limiting gatherings of groups and using face coverings are effective in slowing transmission of this virus," said Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon. "With these actions we can avoid taking the more drastic step of closing schools and businesses."
- "Masks do not negatively affect our economy, and wearing them is the easiest way to slow the spread of the virus," said Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. "We cannot afford to debate this issue any longer. Individual freedom is certainly important, and it is our rule of law that protects that freedom."
- Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves only extended the mask mandate in 15 counties, which will be in effect until at least Dec. 11. Teachers and students are still required to cover their face.
Why it matters: The new surge in coronavirus cases has forced governors to enforce stricter mandates to prevent their hospitals from nearing capacity.
States/territories that are mandating facial coverings in public:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Of note: Some city and local governments such as Phoenix and Jacksonville have enacted mandates as well. Other states vary in exemption qualifications, such as cutoff ages for children as well as medical conditions. They also have rules for people in certain situations, such as taking public transit, shopping and exercising.