Mask mandates vary widely across the U.S., and even within a state.
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers new guidance about when masks should be worn outdoors, people across the United States are living under an often confusing patchwork of limits.
According to a New York Times tracker of coronavirus restrictions across the country, 25 states have some form of statewide mask mandate, as do the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In 24 other states there is no statewide mask mandate, while in Colorado masks can be required depending upon the number of cases diagnosed in a county.
But even within a state, mask mandates can vary based upon county or city. Kansas has no statewide mask mandates, but a number of cities and counties have their own orders. In Colorado, masks must always be worn in specific indoor locations — like schools, hospitals and government buildings — but in some counties with a high rate of new cases, they must also be worn in all public indoor settings with 10 or more people.
Requirements for wearing masks outdoors can be even more specific, especially as a number of states have recently loosened orders. Masks are now only required outdoors in Kentucky at events with more than 1,000 people. Delaware recently removed a mask mandate for outdoor low-risk and medium-risk youth sports.
But in New York, masks still must be worn outdoors in public when one cannot stay six feet away from others.
At a White House news conference on Tuesday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the C.D.C., stopped short of calling for states to end outdoor mask mandates. “States that have mask requirements outdoors, if people are vaccinated, we no longer feel the vaccinated people require masks outdoors,” she said. She said she continued to worry about protecting unvaccinated people at large outdoor public venues like concerts and sports stadiums.
As more than half of all American adults have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, mask mandates are often the last widespread public health order still in effect. Stay-at-home orders and forced business closures, measures sometimes used to try and stop the spread of the virus, have mostly been lifted across the country, though they persist in a few states.
Published at Tue, 27 Apr 2021 19:02:40 +0000
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