Are there mask guidelines for your state? Here's what you need to know

As COVID-19 cases increase across the country, more states, counties and cities are releasing face mask guidelines.
TODAY Illustration / Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of cloth face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

As the United States continues to lead the world in the total number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, some states are enforcing mask recommendations with fines and jail time, while others are leaving it up to individuals to decide.

Here are the mask requirements in place across all 50 states and Washington, D.C..

Alabama

On July 15, Gov. Kay Ivey issued an amended health order announcing a statewide mask mandate to go into effect on July 16. According to the order, masks are now required in indoor public spaces, when using transportation services and when outdoors in a public space where ten or more people are gathered. Jefferson County, Montgomery, Mobile County, Selma and Tuscaloosa already had public masking requirements in place.

There are some exceptions, including children six years of age or younger and people with certain medical conditions.

Alaska

There is no statewide order requiring masks in Alaska, but Anchorage requires the use of face masks in most public places.

Arizona

There is no statewide order requiring masks in Arizona, but cities like Flagstaff, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sedona, and Tucson have mandates in place, as well as several counties.

Arkansas

Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued an executive order on July 16 requiring the use of masks in indoor and outdoor public areas where social distancing is not possible. If individuals refuse to comply, they can face a minimum fine of $100 or a larger fine of up to $500.

Children under 10, people eating or drinking, exercising at a social distance, voting, engaging in a religious service, giving a broadcast or speech and those with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from wearing a mask are exempt from the order. Additionally, counties that have been deemed low risk by Arkansas’ Department of Health are also exempt.

California

Gov. Gavin Newsom has mandated that people in California have to wear masks in indoor and outdoor public areas where they are unable to adequately social distance. Additionally, masks are required in health care facilities, on public transportation, in private car services, taxis, ride-share vehicles and in workplaces where employees interact with the public.

Children under two, people who have medical conditions or disabilities that render them unable to wear a mask, people who are eating or drinking and people who are able to engage in socially distant outdoor recreational activity are exempt from the policy.

Colorado

On July 16, Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order requiring the use of masks in public indoor spaces, taxis, ride-share services, private car services and on public transportation. If individuals fail to comply with the order, they could be prosecuted for trespassing.

Children under 10, people eating or drinking, officiating a religious service, giving a broadcast or speech, communicating with a hard of hearing person and those who have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask are exempt from the order.

Connecticut

Gov. Ned Lamont issued an executive order on April 17 that requires the use of face masks in public spaces where people are unable to social distance, including public transportation, taxis, private cars and ride-share services.

People with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks and children under two are exempt from the order.

Delaware

Gov. John Carney modified Delaware's state of emergency declaration on July 6 to mandate the use of masks both inside essential businesses and outside when social distancing is difficult. Earlier modifications to the mandate remain in effect, including wearing masks when visiting health care providers, when patronizing a business, while using public transportation, taxis, private cars or ride-share services and whenever feeling sick.

Kids under 12 and anyone with a medical condition that inhibits their ability to wear a mask are not required to do so.

Florida

There is no statewide order requiring masks in Florida, but Orange County, Seminole County and Osceola County have mandates in place, as do certain cities within the counties of Brevard, Polk and Volusia.

Georgia

There is no statewide order requiring masks in Georgia, and on July 15, Gov. Brian Kemp issued an order banning cities and counties from implementing their own mask mandates.

The following day, Kemp filed a lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms over the city's mask mandate. He argues that Bottoms cannot implement coronavirus orders that are more restrictive than his own.

Hawaii

On April 17, Gov. David Ige issued an order that requires customers and employees to wear masks when inside or while waiting to enter an essential business. If people refuse to comply, they can be fined up to $5,000 and face a year in prison. On July 2, Honolulu mayor, Kirk Caldwell, issued a new face mask mandate for all indoor public spaces and any outdoor public spaces in the city where it's difficult to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet. There are certain exceptions, such as for children under five and people for whom a face covering may pose a health or safety risk.

Idaho

There is no statewide order requiring masks in Idaho, but Boise, Driggs, Hailey, Ketchum, McCall, Moscow and Victor have mandates in place.

Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker released an executive order on April 30 requiring people to wear a mask in public spaces and at work if they are unable to social distance. Children under two and those who have medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks are exempt from the order.

Indiana

Effective July 27, Gov. Eric Holcomb is mandating the use of masks taxis, ride-share services, private car services, on public transportation and in indoor and outdoor public spaces where social distancing is not feasible.

Children under 8, people who are eating or drinking, swimming, exercising at a social distance, giving a speech or broadcast, experiencing homelessness, incarcerated, attending a religious service, communicating with a hard of hearing person and those who have a medical condition or disability that prevent them from wearing a mask are exempt from the order.

Iowa

There is no statewide order requiring masks in Iowa, and on July 7, Gov. Kim Reynolds said local governments cannot institute their own mandates since that would not align with her earlier COVID-19 disaster proclamations.

One mayor went ahead and issued a mask mandate in the city of Muscatine on July 6 requiring residents to wear face coverings when in either indoor or outdoor public settings. Exceptions include children two years old or younger, people with certain medical conditions and people who are incarcerated.

Kansas

Effective July 3, Gov. Laura Kelly has mandated the use of masks on public transportation, in private cars, taxis and ride-share services, at health care providers and in indoor and outdoor places where people are not able to social distance. Additionally, employees that interact with the public and food are required to wear masks.

Children five and under, people with a medical condition or disability that makes them unable to tolerate masks, hard of hearing people, athletes playing sports at a social distance, people who are eating and drinking, and people engaged in court proceedings are some of the people exempt from the order.

Kentucky

Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order on July 9 requiring masks on public transportation, in taxis, private car services, ride share services and in indoor and outdoor public areas where social distancing cannot be maintained. He signed another executive order on July 10 allowing door-to-door solicitation as long as solicitors wear face coverings and gloves, and comply with the state's other work-related requirements.

Children under five, people eating or drinking, giving a broadcast or speech, swimming, exercising at a social distance, communicating with a hard of hearing person and those who have a disability or condition that prevent them from wearing masks are exempt from the order.

Louisiana

On July 11, Gov. John Bel Edwards mandated the use of masks in indoor and outdoor public spaces across the state, including public transportation. If organizations or businesses do not enforce the order, they can be given a citation.

Those with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks, anyone eating or drinking, communicating with a hard of hearing person or giving a speech or broadcast and children under eight are exempt from the order. Additionally, if a parish reports fewer than 100 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people, the parish can choose to opt out of the order.

Maine

Gov. Janet Mills issued an executive order on July 8 expanding the statewide mask mandate, which already required individuals to wear masks in indoor and outdoor public spaces where they're unable to social distance, including on public transportation and in ride-share services and taxis. The new order calls on large retail businesses, including restaurants, outdoor bars, and hotels in certain counties to implement measures requiring their customers to wear face coverings — and, if necessary, to deny entry or service to customers who do not comply.

People with medical conditions that render them unable to wear a mask, people who cannot remove a mask on their own and children under two are exempt.

Maryland

The use of masks is required on public transportation and in foodservice and retail establishments according to an April 15 executive order by Gov. Larry Hogan. Stricter mask mandates requiring people to wear masks in outdoor public spaces when social distancing is difficult are in effect in certain counties, such as Anne Arundel and Montgomery.

Children under nine are exempt from the statewide mask order, but if people fail to comply with the order they may face up to a year in prison or a $5,000 fine.

Massachusetts

On May 1, Gov. Charlie Barker issued an order that requires the use of masks on public transportation, in taxis, ride-share services, in retail stores and indoor and outdoor spaces where social distancing is not feasible. Failure to comply could result in up to a $300 fine.

Children under two and those with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks are exempt.

Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order on June 17 that requires people “who can medically tolerate a face covering” to wear one when entering pharmacies and grocery stores. Whitmer issued an additional order on July 10 requiring masks on public transportation and in indoor and outdoor public areas where social distancing is not possible.

Children under five, those who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, people who are eating or drinking, exercising, giving a religious service, communicating with a hard of hearing person or giving a broadcast or speech are exempt from the order.

Minnesota

On July 22, Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order mandating masks in taxis, ride-share vehicles, on public transportation and in indoor and outdoor public spaces where it is not possible to social distance.

Children under 5, individuals working jobs where mask use would be hazardous and individuals with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from wearing a mask are exempt. The order also allows people to temporarily remove their masks if they are exercising at a social distance, performing in an indoor space, swimming or communicating with a hard of hearing person.

Mississippi

There is no statewide order requiring masks in Mississippi, but Hinds, Harrison, Rankin, Madison and Quitman are some of the counties that have mandates in place.

Missouri

There is no statewide order requiring masks in Missouri, but Columbia, Joplin, Kansas City and St. Louis are some of the regions that have mandates in place.

Montana

Gov. Steve Bullock issued an executive order on July 15 requiring the use of masks in indoor and outdoor public spaces where social distancing is not possible. The order only applies to counties with four or more active cases of COVID-19.

Children under five, people eating or drinking, exercising or swimming, communicating with a hard of hearing person, giving a speech or performing for an audience and those with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask are exempt from the order.

Nebraska

There is no statewide order requiring masks in Nebraska, and Gov. Pete Ricketts said in June that local governments would no longer receive federal funding if they choose to implement mask orders.

Nevada

In Nevada, Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a mandatory mask policy on June 24 that requires people to cover their faces in indoor and outdoor public spaces where six feet of distance cannot be maintained, as well as on public transportation, in ride-share services, private cars and taxis. Additionally, employees who interact directly with the public, public spaces and food need to wear masks.

Children under two, people with disabilities or medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks, hard of hearing people, people who are experiencing homelessness, people who are eating or drinking, people engaged in socially distant physical activity, inmates and those who are unable to remove a mask on their own are exempt from the policy.

New Hampshire

There is no statewide order requiring masks in New Hampshire, but mandates are in place in Nashua and Durham.

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order on April 8 requiring employees and customers to wear masks in essential businesses and other public indoor spaces. Murphy issued another order on July 8 mandating masks in outdoor spaces where people are unable to social distance.

Children under two, individuals who are medically unable to tolerate a mask, people who are eating and drinking, exercising and swimming are exempt from the order.

New Mexico

Effective May 16, Gov. Michelle Grisham issued an order requiring masks in public spaces. As of July 1, those who do not comply with the order — including travelers — could be faced with a $100 fine.

People with medical conditions that inhibit them from wearing masks and people who are eating, drinking or exercising are exempt.

New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order on April 17 requiring people to wear face masks when they are in public spaces that do not allow for social distancing.

Children under two and those with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks are exempt from the order.

North Carolina

Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order on June 24 mandating masks in restaurants, retail businesses; personal care, grooming and tattoo businesses; childcare facilities, overnight camps and day camps; state government, health care practices, public transportation, meat or poultry processing plants, long term care facilities and work environments where it is difficult to social distance.

Children under 11 and people that are eating or drinking, exercising, giving a speech or broadcast, communicating with hard of hearing individuals or have medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks are exempt from the order.

North Dakota

There is no statewide order requiring masks in North Dakota.

Ohio

On July 23, Ohio’s interim director of health issued an order requiring masks in taxis, private car services, ride share services, on public transportation and in any indoor or outdoor public spaces where social distancing is not possible.

Children under 10, people eating or drinking, giving a broadcast, officiating a religious service, communicating with a hard of hearing person, exercising or working at a social distance, some schools and child care centers and those with medical conditions or disabilities that render them unable to wear a mask are exempt.

Oklahoma

There is no statewide order requiring masks in Oklahoma, but Oklahoma City, Stillwater, Yukon, Norman and Archdiocese are some of the regions with mandates in place.

Oregon

Gov. Kate Brown issued an order on June 30 that mandates face masks for business owners, employees, consumers and the general public when inside indoor public spaces. The measures were expanded on July 15 to include wearing masks in outdoor public spaces when six feet of distance can't be maintained. Indoor social gatherings of more than 10 people are also now prohibited.

Those with medical conditions or disabilities that render them unable to wear masks and children under two are exempt from the order.

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Health issued an order on July 1 that requires masks to be worn in health care facilities, ride-share vehicles, taxis, private car services, on public transit, at businesses where employees interact with the public and in indoor and outdoor areas where people cannot social distance.

Children under two and people who are unable to remove a mask without assistance, people communicating with a hard of hearing person and those with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask are exempt from the order.

Rhode Island

Effective May 8, Gov. Gina Raimondo mandated that people in Rhode Island have to wear a mask inside retail stores, while using public transportation, ride-share services or taxis and while in indoor and outdoor spaces where they are unable to social distance.

People with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks, children under two, people who are developmentally unable to wear a mask and those who are able to maintain social distancing are exempt from the order.

South Carolina

There is no statewide order requiring masks in South Carolina, but Columbia, Charleston, Clemson and Lexington are some of the counties in the state that have mandates in place.

South Dakota

There is no statewide order requiring masks in South Dakota.

Tennessee

There is no statewide order requiring masks in Tennessee, but counties like Davidson, Williamson, Sumner, Montgomery, Robertson and Coffee have mandates in place.

Texas

On July 2, Gov. Greg Abbott mandated the use of masks in retail stores, at gatherings of more than 10 people and in other indoor and outdoor public areas where social distancing cannot be maintained. Failure to comply could result in up to a $250 fine.

Children under 10, people with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask, people swimming or exercising at a social distance and anyone who is voting, providing or obtaining a religious service, giving a speech or broadcast or whose county has opted-out of the requirement are exempt from the order.

Utah

There is no statewide order requiring masks in Utah, but on July 10, Gov. Gary Herbert issued an executive order mandating that face coverings be worn in all state facilities, with exceptions for children under two, people with a medical condition preventing them from wearing a face mask and certain others. The counties of Salt Lake, Summit and Grand Counties also have mandates in place.

Vermont

There is no statewide order requiring masks in Vermont, but municipalities like Burlington, Brattleboro, Montpelier and Wilmington have mandates in place.

Virginia

Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order on May 29 that requires people to wear masks in public indoor settings and on public transportation.

Children under 10, people eating or drinking, exercising, communicating with a hard of hearing person and those with a health condition that renders them unable to wear a mask are exempt.

Washington

Secretary of Health John Wiesman issued an executive order on June 24 that requires the use of masks in healthcare facilities, taxis, ride-share vehicles, private car services, other forms of public transportation and in indoor and outdoor public settings where social distancing is not possible. Gov. Jay Inslee created an additional order effective July 7 that requires businesses to ensure their customers wear masks.

Children under 5 and those with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from wearing a mask are exempt from the order. Individuals can also remove their masks when eating or drinking, exercising at a social distance, communicating with a hard of hearing person and sleeping.

Washington, D.C.

Mayor Muriel Bowser issued an executive order on May 13 requiring the use of masks in businesses, taxis, private transportation services, on public transportation and during essential travel where social distancing is not possible.

Children under nine, people who are experiencing homelessness and those with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks are exempt.

West Virginia

Gov. Jim Justice issued an executive order on July 6 requiring the use of masks in public indoor spaces where social distancing is not possible.

Children under 9, people eating or drinking and those who are medically unable to tolerate masks are exempt from the order.

Wisconsin

There is no statewide order requiring masks in Wisconsin, but Dane County started requiring masks indoors on July 13.

Wyoming

There is no statewide order requiring masks in Wyoming, but some regions including Jackson and Xanterra have mandates in place.

This article was updated on July 24, 2020.