Facing Your Face Mask Duties – A List of Statewide Orders (UPDATED)

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Governors and public health officials across the country have implemented stringent mitigation measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19. As businesses reopen, face coverings remain popular as a preventative measure. Numerous jurisdictions have encouraged—or mandated—citizens to wear face coverings when out in public, especially when social distancing cannot be maintained effectively. Some directives also obligate employers to provide masks to their employees.

This post, current as of August 3, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. (Central), identifies the jurisdictions where face coverings are recommended or required. We will update this list regularly but expect it will become outdated quickly as new announcements are made. 

Note that this list does not include face covering guidance at the local level. 

Employers interested in related information may wish to consult our articles identifying statewide reopening and mitigation protocols and employee health screening guidance.

Jurisdiction

Requirement or Recommendation

Specifics

Federal

Requirement

Compliance with CDC guidelines with respect to wearing masks is required for on-duty or on-site federal employees, on-site federal contractors; and all persons in federal buildings or on federal lands. Federal workers and onsite contractors must provide proof of vaccination or be required to wear a mask.

CDC requires persons over age 2 to wear a mask on a conveyance (aircraft, train, vehicle, vessel) and while in a transportation hub (airport, bus terminal, seaport, etc.). Operators of conveyances arriving or departing a U.S. port of entry must require travelers to wear masks. Private conveyances for non-commercial use, commercial motor vehicles, military conveyances are excluded. The definition of mask does not include a face shield.

It is also recommended that unvaccinated people wear a cloth face covering in public settings, at gatherings and events, and anywhere they will be around other people. Face shields are not recommended as a substitute for masks.

Fully vaccinated individuals can resume activities without wearing a mask, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. However, these individuals are recommended to wear a mask when in indoor public places in areas of high or substantial transmission.

OSHA recommends that employers provide all workers with face coverings at no cost to workers. Employers must discuss reasonable accommodations for any workers who are unable to wear or have difficulty wearing certain types of face coverings due to a disability. Employers should require any other individuals at the workplace (e.g., visitors, customers, non-employees) to wear a face covering unless they are under the age of 2 or are actively consuming food or beverages on site.

Alabama

Recommendation

The statewide mask mandate was rescinded 4/9/21.

Individuals are encouraged to wear masks when within six feet of people from other households. Employers should encourage use of masks and face coverings by employees.

Alaska

Recommendation

Face coverings are recommended for all individuals age 2 and up. 

NOTE: At least one city in Alaska may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Arizona

Recommendation

Masks no longer mandated as of 3/25/21, but businesses and employers may adopt and enforce face covering requirements.

NOTE: At least one city in Arizona may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Arkansas

Recommendation

Individuals are encouraged to follow the CDC guidance for masks for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Businesses are permitted to require masks on their premises.

The state prohibits local jurisdictions from enforcing mask mandates.

NOTE: At least one city in Arkansas may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

California

Requirement

As of 6/15/21, fully vaccinated people may resume everyday activities without wearing a mask.

Masks will be required for unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses. Masks will be required in some limited situations regardless of vaccination status including on public transit, at schools and childcare centers (pending updated CDC guidance), in healthcare and long-term care facilities, in prisons, and at emergency or homeless shelters.

In the workplace, fully vaccinated employees do not need to wear a face covering except for certain situations during outbreaks and in settings where CDPH requires them (described above).  Employers must document the vaccination status of fully vaccinated employees if they do not wear face coverings indoors.

Face coverings are required indoors and in vehicles for unvaccinated employees. Unvaccinated employees are not required to wear a face covering when alone in a room or vehicle, and when eating or drinking.

Employees are not required to wear face coverings when outdoors regardless of vaccination status, except for certain employees during outbreaks. Fully vaccinated employees are explicitly allowed to wear a face covering without fear of retaliation from employers. 

Employers must provide  face coverings to unvaccinated persons and make them available to vaccinated persons upon request.

NOTE: Many California localities have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Colorado

Requirement

Masks continue to be required for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated individuals in certain specified settings (schools, certain healthcare and government settings).

Individuals aged 12+ who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a face covering when entering or within an indoor space where members of different households are present. Any fully vaccinated individual may go without any type of face covering in any setting. Medical grade face coverings are required for unvaccinated individuals in certain higher risk settings.

Employers must implement the face covering guidance set forth above.

Owners, operators, and managers of any business or service may, at their discretion, continue to require individuals entering or within their locations to wear face coverings or show proof of full vaccination.

NOTE: Colorado localities may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Connecticut

Requirement

Any person while indoors in a public place who does not maintain a safe social distance of approximately six feet from every other person and who is not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face covering. Fully vaccinated people are not required to wear masks except as provided below.

All persons, regardless of vaccination status, shall use a mask or cloth face covering in the settings specified by the state health department here.

An employer, rather than the employee, is liable for the fine for any employee’s failure to wear a required mask or cloth face covering while at work.

Businesses and organizations may require the universal use of masks or face coverings or require staff to wear masks in settings under their ownership or control.

Delaware

Requirement

Individuals aged kindergarten and up are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering while visiting any indoor business or space open to the public in compliance with CDC guidelines and recommendations. Individuals must wear masks on public transport, in healthcare settings, and in certain other congregate settings.

The face covering requirement was amended so that: (1) educators and staff in schools and childcare centers are not required to wear masks when children are not present; and (2) students and educators are not required to wear masks outdoors.

Employers must ensure that all employees, patrons, and visitors must wear face coverings in accordance the current order and CDC guidelines. Businesses may impose mask requirements for employees, patrons, and visitors.

District of Columbia

Requirement

All persons must wear masks indoors. Businesses may establish stricter rules, including requiring masks outdoors and showing proof of vaccination to be able to enter the facility. Businesses may exclude persons not in compliance with District health orders and may take appropriate employment actions against employees who endanger themselves or others due to failure to comply.

A face shield is not an acceptable alternative for wearing a mask.

Masks remain required for everyone regardless of vaccination status in public transportation, schools, healthcare settings, and other specified congregate settings.

Florida

Recommendation

All individuals over age 2 are recommended to wear face coverings according to CDC guidelines.

NOTE: Florida localities may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Georgia

Recommendation

Everyone over age 2 should wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

NOTE: In Georgia, some localities may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction

Hawaii

Requirement

All individuals over age 5 must wear a face covering when in indoor public settings. Masks are not required while working at a desk or work station and not actively engaged with other employees, customers, or visitors, provided that the individual’s desk or workstation is not located in a common or shared area and physical distancing of at least six feet is maintained.

Face shields are not permitted as substitutes for face coverings unless an exception to the face covering requirement applies. Businesses shall refuse admission or service to any individual who fails to wear a face covering, unless an exception applies.

Businesses shall refuse admission or service to any individual who fails to wear a face covering, unless an exception applies. Businesses may adopt stricter protocols or requirements related to face coverings and face shields.

As of 5/25/21, masks are no longer required outdoors.

NOTE: In Hawaii, some localities may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Idaho

Recommendation

Employers should identify how personal use items such as masks, face coverings, and gloves may be required by employees, vendors, and/or patrons. Individuals should wear a face covering over their nose and mouth as per guidance from CDC for vaccinated and unvaccinated people.  

NOTE: In Idaho, at least one locality may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Illinois

Recommendation

For businesses and venues where everyone present is fully vaccinated, face coverings are not required. Businesses and municipalities are permitted to continue requiring face coverings as they deem appropriate.

For indoor businesses where everyone present is not fully vaccinated, unvaccinated persons should wear a face covering and maintain six feet social distance. Businesses and venues may continue to require face coverings and/or social distance.  At outdoor businesses and venues, unvaccinated persons may choose not to wear a face covering when able to maintain a six-foot social distance while outdoors, unless required to do so by a business or municipality.

Although people who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear a face covering under state guidance, businesses and venues should be supportive of customers and employees who choose to wear a face covering.

All unvaccinated persons should wear face coverings in crowded settings, both indoors and outdoors, especially when youth are present.

All individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated, must continue to wear a mask: (1) on public transportation; (2) in congregate facilities; (3) in health care settings, and where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations.

NOTE: In Illinois, at least one locality may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Indiana

Recommendation

As of 4/5/21, the mask mandate transitioned to a mask advisory, with the below guidelines as recommendations.

Masks remain required in schools, certain health care sites, and certain government sites. Otherwise, individuals are encouraged to follow the CDC guidelines for masks for vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

NOTE: In Indiana, at least one locality may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Iowa

Recommendation

Individuals are recommended to follow CDC guidance for use of face coverings.

The state prohibits local jurisdictions from enforcing mask mandates.

NOTE: In Iowa, some localities may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Kansas

Recommendation

All individuals over age 2 should wear a face covering in indoor public spaces. The state has adopted the CDC mask guidance for fully vaccinated individuals.

NOTE: Some localities in Kansas may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Kentucky

Requirement

Masks continue to be required in certain limited settings (on public transportation, in healthcare settings, schools, and others as specified).

Businesses should encourage unvaccinated persons to wear a face covering when engaged in indoor behaviors associated with a heightened risk of COVID-19 transmission or when physical distancing with other persons not from their family/household is not occurring.

Louisiana

Requirement

Beginning 8/4/21, all individuals over age 4 are required to wear a face covering when indoors at any place other than a private residence. Individuals who will not come in contact with others or will be able to maintain distance of at least 6 feet from others outside of their immediate household are not required to wear a face covering. Businesses may be subject to a citation for failing to enforce the face covering requirement.

Private businesses retain the authority to impose stricter measures.

Operators and passengers of public transport and conveyances must wear a face covering when using transportation or at a transportation hub.

NOTE: In Louisiana, at least one city may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Maine

Recommendation

The mask mandate was rescinded effective 5/24/21. Businesses may choose to require masks and to request proof of vaccination. Masks are recommended for all individuals in areas of high or substantial transmission.

Maryland

Requirement

All mask-wearing and face covering restrictions will be lifted on 7/1/21. Individual businesses may still enforce their own requirements.

Through the end of June, all individuals over age 5 are required to wear face coverings (1) while using transportation services; (2) in schools; and (3) while obtaining healthcare services. Unvaccinated individuals are advised to wear face coverings in all indoor settings outside of their homes. Businesses retain the discretion to require masks on their premises.

Massachusetts

Requirement

Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear masks in public places. Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue wearing masks.

All individuals regardless of vaccination status are required to continue wearing face coverings in certain settings, including transportation and health care facilities.

NOTE: At least one city in Massachusetts may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Michigan

Recommendation

The statewide mask requirement was lifted effective 6/22/21.  Private businesses may still require masks, social distancing or other safety precautions.

Minnesota

Recommendation

The statewide mask mandate was rescinded effective 5/14/21. Per CDC guidance, fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear masks. Unvaccinated individuals are strongly recommended to continue wearing masks indoors. Businesses and local jurisdictions retain discretion to impose mask requirements.

Childcare settings must use face coverings and face shields through 6/30/21 or until 70% of Minnesotans age 16 years and older receive at least one dose of the COVID19 vaccine, whichever comes first.

Mississippi

Recommendation

The mask mandate was rescinded effective 3/3/21. Individuals are recommended to wear a face covering while in indoor public spaces when social distancing from people of other households is not possible. Employers should encourage unvaccinated workers to wear a mask at work.

NOTE: In Mississippi, at least one locality may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Missouri

Recommendation

People should wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

NOTE: In Missouri, some localities may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Montana

Recommendation

The statewide mask mandate was rescinded effective as of 2/12/21.

Nebraska

Recommendation

Residents are recommended to wear a cloth face covering in public places where they cannot stay 6 feet away from others.

NOTE: In Nebraska, at least one locality may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Nevada

Requirement

Beginning 7/30/21, all individuals not exempt under Directives 024 and 028 are required to wear a mask or face covering in a manner consistent with guidance issued by the CDC (masks are recommended in indoor public settings in counties with high or substantial  transmission regardless of vaccination status).

Businesses must ensure that all patrons, customers, clients, and patients wear face coverings consistent with state requirements, which may include prohibiting persons without face coverings from entering indoor premises.

NOTE: At least one locality in Nevada may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

New Hampshire

Recommendation

As of 4/16/21, the statewide mask mandate has been rescinded.

As of 6/17/21, the state is recommending that asymptomatic people, in addition to fully vaccinated people, can go without face masks in most indoor and outdoor locations. Masks are still recommended in high-risk locations, such as crowded indoor spaces. Businesses can require mask use.

NOTE: In New Hampshire, at least one locality may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

New Jersey

Requirement

As of 5/28/21, individuals in indoor public spaces are not required to wear masks, regardless of their ability to maintain six feet of distance from other individuals or groups. In accordance with CDC recommendations, individuals who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks in indoor public spaces. Masks are not required in outdoor public spaces.

Employers are permitted to impose stricter requirements regarding mask-wearing in indoor settings for employees, customers, guests, and other individuals, where otherwise consistent with state and federal law. Employers shall not restrict individuals from wearing masks in those settings and shall not in any way penalize or retaliate against individuals who elect to wear a mask.

Employers in workplaces that are not open to the public are not mandated to require employees to wear masks at the worksite if the employees provide proof that they are fully vaccinated. Where an employer is unable to determine an individual’s vaccination status or the individual is not fully vaccinated, employers must continue to require those employees to wear masks. These employers are permitted to allow customers, visitors, and other authorized individuals to enter the worksite without requiring use of a mask, regardless of their vaccination status. Employers may establish a policy that requires customers, visitors, and similar individuals entering a worksite to wear a mask.

New Mexico

Requirement

All individuals must wear a mask in public settings, but fully vaccinated individuals are exempt from this requirement. Businesses must adhere to the latest CDC guidelines for mask use, and are free to implement more stringent requirements.

Masks remain required at businesses that engage youth (schools, camps, etc).

New York

Requirement

Unvaccinated individuals are responsible for wearing masks, in accordance with federal CDC guidelines.

New York's health guidelines remain in effect for large-scale indoor event venues, pre-K to grade 12 schools, public transit homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and health care settings per CDC guidelines.

Businesses are free to choose to lift all or some restrictions, continue to adhere to the State's archived guidance, or implement other health precautions for their employees and patrons. Businesses are also authorized to require masks and six feet of social distancing for employees and patrons within their establishment, regardless of vaccination status.

NOTE: New York City has its own face covering obligations. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

North Carolina

Requirement

Individuals over age 4 must wear face coverings on transportation services, in healthcare settings, schools and childcare, and limited other specified settings. Otherwise, face coverings are not required. People not fully vaccinated are recommended to wear masks. Private businesses may continue to impose a mask requirement.

Face shields do not meet the requirements for compliant face coverings.

North Dakota

Recommendation

The statewide mask requirement was rescinded 1/18/21, but masks continue to be recommended following CDC guidance.

Ohio

Recommendation

The statewide mask mandate was lifted as of 6/2/21. Local jurisdictions and businesses may choose to continue to require masks.

NOTE: In Ohio, at least one locality may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Oklahoma

Recommendation

Required on state property; recommended in public spaces per CDC guidelines.

NOTE: In Oklahoma, at least one locality may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Oregon

Recommendation

The statewide mask mandate was lifted as of 6/30/21.

Per Oregon OSHA, businesses and employers may require more stringent mask or face covering requirements and may exclude from their business, event or facility those individuals who, regardless of their vaccination status, fail to comply with those requirements. If an employee chooses to wear a mask, face shield, or face covering even when it is not required, the employer must allow them to do so.

Pennsylvania

Recommendation

The statewide mask mandate was lifted as of 6/28/21. Pennsylvanians are urged to follow CDC guidance for wearing a mask where required by law, rule, and regulations, including healthcare, local business and workplace guidance.

NOTE: In Pennsylvania, at least one locality may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Puerto Rico

Requirement

Puerto Rico has  adopted the CDC guidance for masks and fully vaccinated individuals. Fully vaccinated individuals in closed spaces that do not serve the public are not required to use masks if all individuals inside the closed area are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to use masks when outdoors. Mask use is recommended for individuals who are not fully vaccinated, even when outdoors.

Rhode Island

Recommendation

The statewide face covering order was terminated on 7/6/21.

Unvaccinated people are strongly encouraged to wear masks in indoor settings when around people not from their own households.

Businesses may adopt more restrictive requirements and may require masks. Masks are also required in public and private transportation, healthcare settings, and other settings as specified by the CDC regardless of vaccination status.

A face shield alone is not recommended as a sufficient face covering.

South Carolina

Recommendation

All individuals who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a face covering in public settings where social distancing is not possible or feasible.

South Dakota

Recommendation

People are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

Tennessee

Recommendation

Employees are encouraged to wear a face covering at work. Members of the public are encouraged to wear a face covering in public places.

NOTE: In Tennessee, some localities may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Texas

Recommendation

The statewide mask mandate was rescinded effective 3/10/21, but masks continue to be recommended.

NOTE: In Texas, some localities may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Utah

Recommendation

The statewide mask mandate was lifted effective 4/10/21. Private businesses are permitted to require masks on their premises, and masks remain required for gatherings over 50 people.

NOTE: In Utah, at least one locality may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

Vermont

Recommendation

All masking and physical distance mandates are lifted. 

Masks are recommended for unvaccinated youth childcare/summer camp attendees and organizers during indoor activities this summer.

Virginia

Recommendation

All individuals in the Commonwealth aged five and older should cover their mouth and nose with a mask in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Washington

Requirement

Unvaccinated individuals must wear a face covering when in a place where people from outside their household are present or in a place generally accessible to people outside their household. Masks are required regardless of a person's vaccination status in schools, healthcare settings, and other specified congregate settings.

Employers must require employees to wear face coverings. Employers may choose to verify employee vaccination status using the following evidence: vaccination record, attestation, or maintaining a log without underlying documentation. Employees who verify they are fully vaccinated may work without face coverings. If a worker declines to provide verification of their vaccination status, they are not considered fully vaccinated. Employers may also choose to continue face covering and physical distancing requirements regardless of employee vaccination status.

A face shield with a drape can be used by people with developmental, behavioral, or medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a face covering.

NOTE: In Washington, at least one locality may have provisions concerning face coverings for employees and/or customers. Please check with your Littler attorney for additional information about your particular jurisdiction.

West Virginia

Recommendation

The statewide face covering mandate was lifted on 6/20/21. Any private business or school system can still require individuals to wear a face covering.

Wisconsin

Recommendation

On 4/31/21, the state supreme court invalidated the governor's mask mandate. Local mandates may remain in place.​ 

Fully vaccinated individuals may resume indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask.

Every individual age 5 and older is strongly encouraged to wear a face covering if indoors or in an enclosed space, other than at a private residence, and others who are not members of individual’s household or living unit are present in the same room or enclosed space. A face shield is not permitted as a substitute for a mask unless the individual is engaging in work where wearing a face covering would create a risk, as determined by government safety guidelines, or if engaging in activities where federal or state law or regulations prohibit wearing a face covering.

Wyoming

Recommendation

The general statewide mask mandate was lifted on 3/16/21. Face coverings are encouraged in public spaces. Some requirements continue to apply in school settings and for large indoor events.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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