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

New Hampshire on Friday 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.

  • "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."
  • “Our situation has changed, and we must change with it,” said North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum in a statement on Friday.
  • 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

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

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
16 hours ago - Health

What overwhelmed hospitals look like

A healthcare professional suits up to enter a COVID-19 patient's room in the ICU at Van Wert County Hospital in Ohio. Photo: Megan Jelinger/AFP

Utah doctors are doing what they say is the equivalent of rationing care. Intensive care beds in Minnesota are nearly full. And the country overall continues to break hospitalization records — all as millions of Americans travel to spend Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Why it matters: America's health care workers are exhausted, and the sickest coronavirus patients aren't receiving the kind of care that could make the difference between living and dying.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
16 hours ago - Economy & Business

Southwest CEO: "You should fly"

The official guidance of the CDC says that "postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year."

  • Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, however, took the opposing position when he was interviewed by "Axios on HBO." "You should fly," he told me, adding that "we need to have as much commerce and business and movement as is safe to do."
Updated 23 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sen. Kelly Loeffler to return to campaign trail after 2nd negative test

Sen. Kelly Loeffler addresses supporters during a rally on Thursday. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R-Ga.) campaign announced Monday that she "looks forward to getting back out on the campaign trail" after testing negative for COVID-19 for a second time, following earlier conflicting results.

Why it matters: Loeffler has been campaigning at events ahead of a Jan. 5 runoff in elections that'll decide which party holds the Senate majority. Vice President Mike Pence was with her on Friday.