With more and more states looking to reopen in the coming weeks and months, it’s just as important than ever to do it safely. In doing so, many local governments are making face masks mandatory while in public – whether at the grocery store or at the park. And although these, for the time being, will fluctuate from state-to-state, week-by-week, it’s always better to be careful than sorry.
So with the guidelines for safety changing by the minute, Pistol Lake wanted to put together an easy-to-find cheat sheet for face mask protection.
Now, before digging deep here, there are two things to keep in mind.
- These are changing daily – so give your local government a call or research online just to be thorough.
- These current statuses are based on a simple statement by the CDC, the Center for Disease Control, which recommends that everyone wear a cloth covering in public settings – especially those in which social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
But beyond that, each state has taken that suggestion in one of three ways: Required, recommended, or no stance – with plenty of mixing between the options for businesses and the general public.
In states where masks are mandatory, fines are being levied at those breaking the guidelines for safer and healthier living. As of today, thanks to a wonderfully informative article on Littler, here’s where most states stand. First, you'll find the official releases and then, below that, some handy specifics.
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennslyvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Alabama: Face coverings are required for employees of restaurants, personal care services, and gyms, and fitness centers.
Alaska: Employees of reopening businesses must wear face coverings
Arizona: Required for employees and customers of barbers and cosmetologists.
Residents are recommended to wear cloth face coverings worn in public places where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
Arkansas: Required for restaurants reopening for dine-in. All staff who come in contact with patrons must wear a face mask that completely covers their nose and mouth. Gyms and fitness centers, too.
Residents are encouraged to wear a cloth mask when in public and unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from others.
California: Cities like San Francisco have made masks mandatory, same as LAX and other large gathering locations. For a state as large as California, it's best to check locally for better details.
Colorado: For critical businesses, workers must wear medical or non-medical cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth while working, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health.
Connecticut: Any person in a public place in Connecticut who is unable to or does not maintain a safe social distance of approximately six feet from every other person shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face-covering.
Retail, personal care, office-based businesses, and restaurant employees and customers must wear face coverings.
Delaware: All individuals must wear a face covering, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age, while in the following places: Public transportation, at a business, at the doctor or hospital, in an outdoor public area in which social distancing of six feet is not possible.
Similar measures for businesses.
Florida: Personal care, such as barbers, are required to wear masks, while encouraged to adopt policies requiring customers to do so as well.
Georgia: Required for businesses permitted to reopen. Recommended for the general public, especially in settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
Hawaii: Customers must wear a covering while at an essential business. All employees that have any contact with customers must also wear the covering recommended by the CDC.
Idaho: Face coverings by the general public is strongly recommended.
Illinois: Businesses are required to provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain social distancing. People over 2 must wear a mask or face covering when in a public.
Indiana: Face coverings for residents are recommended. Restaurant and personal care employees are quired.
Kansas: Residents are recommended to wear face coverings on nose and mouth.
Kentucky: Businesses are required to provide face coverings to employees, ensure that they're worn, and regularly replace gloves.
Louisiana: Employees that contact the general public mask wear a mask, face coverings are recommended in social distancing situations.
Maine: People must wear a face covering when social distancing is not possible. Employers can decide if their works need one as well.
Maryland: All customers, retail establishments, food staff, and public transportation areas require the face coverings.
Massachusetts: Residents over 2 must wear face cover in public, like at a business or on public transportation – customers and employees alike.
Michigan: Essential businesses and construction operations must wear face coverings when six feet separation is not possible. Any resident able to wear a mask must when in enclosed public space.
Minnesota: Coverings are recommended for public situations and social distancing purposes.
Mississippi: Required for all businesses, restaurants, personal care, and gym/fitness employees. Residents are recommended to wear when away from home.
Missouri: It is recommended that people wear coverings while in public and social distancing.
Nebraska: Re-opening restaurants must wear masks for takeout and dine-in. Residents are only recommended to wear a face covering.
Nevada: Employees that interact with the public must wear masks. People are recommended to wear face coverings whenever they leave the house.
New Hampshire: While at work and in public, employees should wear covering – especially at retail, restaurants, personal care, and golf courses. Strongly recommended otherwise.
New Jersey: Essential retail businesses must wear coverings inside, provide the coverings to employees, and may decline entry for a customer who does not comply.
Workers and customers must while on public transit as well.
New Mexico: Employers must provide workers with face covering and then require them. Essential businesses must ensure all workers are covered too.
New York: At the employer's expense, businesses must supply face coverings for their essential workers. Residents over 2 must wear one when in a public space and social distancing is not possible.
North Carolina: Retail businesses are encouraged to supply, use, and educate employees on face coverings.
North Dakota: Required for personal care employees. Recommend for everyone else. Encouraged for employers in close contact with the public.
Ohio: Face coverings are required for businesses – both employers and employees. Recommended for the public.
Oklahoma: No statewide order, check locally, however.
Oregon: Retail, food/beverage, and personal care must wear face coverings.
Pennslyvania: Essential businesses must provide masks for employees. Businesses will require all customers to wear masks while on the premises.
Rhode Island: All still-operating businesses must require face coverings at their own expense. Residents in public places, both indoors or out, must wear a covering. Required in grocery stores, as well as public transportation.
South Carolina: Residents are recommended to wear masks when the social distance is tough to maintain.
South Dakota: Recommended that people are to wear face masks in public places where social distancing is not possible.
Tennessee: Employees should consider wearing masks to work and patrons are encouraged to do the same in public places.
Texas: All employees should consider wearing masks.
Utah: Employees and patrons alike are required to wear masks whenever social distancing is not possible.
Vermont: All operating businesses must require masks to be worn by employees when interacting with others.
Virginia: All employees and patrons should utilize masks when in social settings – but not required.
Washington: People are advised to wear cloth masks when they are in public settings in which they cannot maintain social distance. Employers must provide the needed PPE to their workers.
West Virginia: All employees should wear masks with the exception of small businesses of 10 or fewer employees and no customer contact.
Wisconsin: It is recommended that people wear a cloth mask when in public settings.
Wyoming: Masks are required for all gym employees, personal care services employees, and guests.