Updated Dec 8, 2020 - Health

The states where face coverings are mandatory

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios
Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

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.

The big picture: States are reintroducing mitigation efforts like closing businesses and advising people to stay home as the U.S. averages the most daily cases of any point in the pandemic.

  • "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:

  1. Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. California
  4. Colorado
  5. Connecticut
  6. Delaware
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Hawaii
  9. Illinois
  10. Indiana
  11. Iowa
  12. Kansas
  13. Kentucky
  14. Louisiana
  15. Maine
  16. Maryland
  17. Massachusetts
  18. Michigan
  19. Minnesota
  20. Montana
  21. Nevada
  22. New Hampshire
  23. New Jersey
  24. New Mexico
  25. New York
  26. North Carolina
  27. North Dakota
  28. Ohio
  29. Oregon
  30. Pennsylvania
  31. Rhode Island
  32. Texas
  33. Utah
  34. Virginia
  35. Vermont
  36. Washington
  37. West Virginia
  38. Wisconsin
  39. Wyoming

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.

Go deeper: Mask mandates may have prevented hundreds of thousands of coronavirus cases

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