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You're Now Required to Wear a Face Mask in These 14 States

Read through to see if your area is on the list.

As your city reopens, you probably have more than a few questions about how to stay safe. Top of mind might be: Do I need to keep wearing my face mask? The website #MasksForAll has compiled a database on the latest state-by-state laws, and here Eat This, Not That! Health spotlights the 14 states they say still require a face mask statewide. Read on to make sure you're following your state's best advice.



The Delaware State Capitol Building in Dover, Delaware.

Even with the reopening of the state, face masks will be required everywhere in public throughout Delaware. "As we continue to gradually reopen our economy, and get Delawareans back to work, it's important that everyone remember that this virus has not gone away," Gov. John Carney said during a press briefing.


New Jersey

In the Garden State, face masks are required in businesses and on public transport. Gov. Phil Murphy said he's become "a big mask guy," according to New Jersey 101.5. "It's for your benefit not for mine, right? So I'm not spewing droplets on you within six feet."



Face masks are mandatory "everywhere in public where social distancing isn't possible." "Previously, Michigan only recommended that people wear masks," reports Fox 59. "Employers are required to provide non-medical-grade masks for employees who deal with the public."



Baltimore Coronavirus Covid-19 Quarantine

In businesses and on public transport, face masks are a must. However, a headline from the New York Times on May 30th proves how hard it's been to enforce: "'They're Just Doing Whatever They Want': Few Masks Are Seen as Beach Town Reopens." "As businesses in the Maryland town of Ocean City try to enforce mask wearing, they are finding some visitors unwilling to comply," according to the article. "The illness at home is 'always in the back of your mind,'" a part-time nursing assistant told the paper. "But you've got to live your life."



Merchandise Mart Lights Up for Coronavirus during COVID-19 Pandemic

Under a new order, "individuals must wear a 'face-covering or mask when in a public place where they can't maintain a six-foot social distance,'" according to NBC Chicago. "It applies to anyone over the age of 2 'who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask.'"




"You have to wear a mask if:

  • You're working in a heavy, physical job field. This includes farmers, landscapers and construction workers.
  • You're an employee in retail spaces, public transportation, food service, or any other means of working that requires person-to-person communication.
  • You're a customer at an essential business.
  • You're visiting your health care provider.
  • You're using public transportation.
  • You're feeling sick, coughing or sneezing," according to Lancaster Online.


New York

No crowds in Times Square

At a press conference, Gov. Andrew Cuomo invited Chris Rock and Rosie Perez to plead that the public wear face masks everywhere where social distancing is not possible. Even during the recent protests over George Floyd's death, he urged citizens to wear a face mask. "You have a right to demonstrate," he said. "You don't have a right to infect other people."



Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, Honolulu, Oahu Island, Hawaii

Masks are mandatory in businesses. "Save for the face masks and many business closures, Friday almost looked like a pre-COVID-19 day in Waikiki," reported the Star Advertiser this weekend. "The state's most famous beach was dotted with colorful umbrellas as residents and visitors caught rays and waves."



Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut, USA during autumn.

If social distancing isn't possible, it's mandatory to wear a mask, per an executive order from Gov. New Lamont. You must wear one, per the Governor's office, "when:

  • social distancing is NOT possible
  • you go shopping
  • at work if you're less than 6 feet apart
  • And otherwise, use common sense."


Rhode Island


They are mandatory throughout the state. "You don't leave your house without your car keys or your phone or your wallet, so don't leave your house without your face mask," said Gov. Gina Raimondo, according to NECN. "We're trying to strike a balance between compliance… but we don't want to be overly heavy handed."




Masks are required for everyone ages 10 and up, according to WSLS:

  • Inside all brick and mortar retail establishments. Both essential and non-essential stores, including grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Inside all personal care & grooming establishments
  • Any indoor space shared by groups of people who may congregate within 6 feet of one another or who are in close proximity to each other for more than 10 minutes
  • Inside food & beverage establishments, except when eating
  • On public transportation
  • State and local government buildings and areas where the public accesses services
  • Entertainment or public amusement establishments, when permitted to open



The famous "Make Way for Ducklings" statues at the Public Garden carry a message of hope amidst the coronavirus crisis.

They're required "everywhere in public where social distancing isn't possible," and as restaurants reopen, serves must wear them.


New Mexico

New Mexico Flag. Coronavirus

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham mandated that face masks be worn in public. "I'm convinced that it is the better decision to require, mandate face masks … that's not optional," she said. "In terms of enforcement, extreme positive peer pressure."



Augusta, Maine, USA downtown skyline on the Kennebec River.

Face masks are mandatory anywhere in public. "Gov. Janet Mills issued an executive order on Friday requiring Maine businesses accessible to the public to post signs by June 5 alerting customers that wearing masks in indoor public places is mandatory during the COVID-19 pandemic," reported the Press Herald. "She also authorized businesses to refuse service or entry to customers who aren't wearing masks."


Here's Where Face Masks Are Mandatory Statewide "Only In Businesses"

woman doing lunges at the gym wearing n95 face mask

The following states have mandates for face masks at places of employment where social distancing is not possible:

  • Alabama
  • Vermont
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Nebraska
  • Arkansas
  • Louisana
  • Washington D.C.
  • And many parts of California

As for you: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more
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