Mask Mandates Are Back Nationwide. Here Are the States Requiring Them.

Throughout the summer, many statewide mask mandates have expired, causing some cities to create their own. But with schools reopening and the Delta variant becoming an increasing concern, some states are now opting to reinstate or strengthen their mask requirements. Vaccinated people who had enjoyed a brief taste of freedom are now finding themselves having to comply due to the “pandemic of the unvaccinated”.

Seven states, along with Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, have mask mandates for the vaccinated and the unvaccinated in place. Another six states have mask mandates for the unvaccinated. In all, that’s six more states with full mask mandates than there were at the end of July.

TAMPA, FL – JULY 27: Families protest any potential mask mandates before the Hillsborough County Schools Board meeting held at the district office on July 27, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended those who are vaccinated should wear masks indoors including students returning to school. (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its mask guidance on July 27th. According to the CDC, indoor mask use is recommended in areas with high transmission rates, regardless of vaccination status. Still, a majority of states do not have mask mandates in place. Some, such as Florida, have even sought to ban local jurisdictions from enforcing the mandates. The U.S. Department of Education is investigating whether some of the states banning mask mandates are violating students’ rights.

Three states — California, New York, and Connecticut — have mandates that don’t apply to fully vaccinated individuals. Nevada’s statewide mandate applies to counties with high rates of Covid transmission. Illinois’ reinstated mandate went into effect Monday, requiring masks in all indoor settings for residents over the age of 2. Washington also restored its statewide indoor use requirements last week, with wording that includes a strong recommendation for masks in crowded outdoor settings.

NBC News has added an interactive data map here where you can check your state’s most recent mask mandates.

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