United States coronavirus


With COVID-19 cases on the rise in 42 states across the United States, federal health officials recommend that all Americans over the age of two wear cloth face coverings in public to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has changed since the start of the pandemic, distinguishes between cloth and medical-grade masks. The latter are in limited supply and should be reserved for front-line healthcare workers, the agency says.

Some of the 50 states have taken the federal recommendation a step further and mandated mask-wearing, while others have left it to counties and cities to implement requirements.

Here are the rules around cloth face coverings in selected states:

California

As of June 18, California requires masks to be worn in indoor public spaces, including public transit, and outdoors when social distancing is not feasible. The state’s rule exempts people with certain medical conditions and children under 2.

United States coronavirus

A man and little boy walk hand in hand while wearing masks at the Galleria mall in Dallas, Texas, where masks are required in any county with 20 or more COVID-19 cases [File: LM Otero/AP Photo]

Florida

While cases have repeatedly leaped by more than 10,000 per day in the last week, the state does not mandate mask-wearing but strongly advises it. Several counties have issued mandates, including Miami-Dade, which requires face coverings in all public settings, outdoor and indoor.

Georgia

Governor Brian Kemp has strongly encouraged, but not mandated, mask-wearing in his state, where cases have increased by more than 18,000 in the last week. Some cities have implemented their own requirements.

Kentucky

From Friday, residents of the state will be required to wear masks when in public. Governor Andy Beshear says the increased case counts from the last few days along with an “explosion” in other states prompted him to issue the executive order.

Michigan

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has mandated that people must wear masks both indoors and outside if they cannot consistently keep six feet away from non-household members. A mask also is needed while using public transportation, a taxi or a ride-sharing vehicle, with some exceptions. She also has ordered that usinesses open to the public deny service or entry to customers who refuse to wear a mask.

Mississippi

Mississippi’s Governor Tate Reeves on Thursday issued an executive order requiring people in 13 counties to wear face masks and banning indoor social gatherings larger than 10 people, and outdoor gatherings of more than 20 people, among other restrictions on businesses.

California masks

Participants on the beach wear masks as San Diego’s Junior Lifeguard Program officially reopens. California requires masks both indoors and outdoors when social distancing is not possible [File: Mike Blake/Reuters]

Nebraska

Masks are required for patrons and providers in the personal services industry, including nail salons and tattoo parlors, as well as for employees at bars, restaurants, bowling alleys and clubs.

New Mexico

Masks are required in New Mexico at all times during any activity outside residents’ home, even while exercising. People who refuse to wear a mask are subject to a $100 fine.

New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy said on Wednesday that he would sign an executive order requiring people to wear face coverings outdoors whenever social distancing is not possible, in addition to the state requirement that they be worn in indoor public spaces.

New York

Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a face-covering order effective April 17 that applies to anyone over the age of two who is in “a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance.”

Ohio

On Tuesday, Governor Mike DeWine issued a mandate that applies to seven counties where COVID-19 is on the rise, requiring that residents there wear masks in indoor public spaces and outdoors when social distancing is not possible.






Meltdowns over masks amid coronavirus outbreak go viral (1:28)

South Carolina

Cities have imposed their own mask mandates with Governor Henry McMaster’s approval, as he has said the state will not impose a universal requirement.

Texas

Governor Greg Abbott imposed a mask-wearing requirement on July 2 that applied to every county with 20 or more COVID-19 cases. Under his order, Abbott said violators would first get a verbal warning and then could face up to $250 in fines.

West Virginia

Governor Jim Justice has ordered able-bodied residents over the age of nine to wear face coverings, but only in “indoor public places where six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.” The order does not apply while driving or eating in restaurants.



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By GIL

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