While health officials agree that masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19, state and local governments have varied widely in their implementation of mask rules.
Now, President Joe Biden wants to change that.
Biden’s office has published plans that his administration intends to implement at the start of his term, and one is a national mask-wearing mandate “working with governors and mayors.”
Most states already have some sort of mask wearing mandate, but some don’t have a state rule, either leaving it as a recommendation or giving the authority to local officials.
These are the states that do not have mask use requirements throughout the territory:
Alaska does not require the use of masks, does not limit group sizes or business operations. All the state does is encourage state residents to do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19, recommending that residents practice social distancing and wear a face mask, without any mandate.
The mayor of Anchorage, however, has signed an order requiring people to wear a mask in public.
Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, allows individual counties to require a mask, but does not have a state initiative.
Scottsdale was the first to make masks mandatory as of June 19. Other major municipalities with requirements include Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff.
There is no statewide mask requirement, however some local municipalities have their own mandates.
Across the state, masks are required for some essential employees, including restaurant and personal care service employees.
Meanwhile, several counties and cities have mask mandates.
The state does not have a statewide requirement, but several local municipalities do, including Boise.
The state implemented a mask-wearing mandate in November, but in February Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, removed the requirement.
“We know what we have to do and it doesn’t require a government mandate to do it,” Reynolds said at the time. “Before November, Iowans did not have a mask requirement, but most Iowans wore masks, and I’m sure they will continue to do so.”
At the time, the governor said virus activity in Iowa was declining, noting that the average positivity rate across the state had dropped to single digits.
On September 4, the governor, Tate Reeves, a Republican, lifted the state requirement to cover his face.
Just over a month later and amid an increase in the number of cases, Reeves signed a decree that requires faces in counties with the highest number of covid-19 cases to be covered,
The “Safe Recovery” decree is in effect through Dec. 11 and includes 22 of the state’s 82 counties.
The state does not have a statewide requirement, but several local municipalities do.
Montana had a masked mandate, but newly elected Governor Greg Gianforte, Republican, let it expire in February, though he said local communities can continue to enforce their own terms.
“Since we are not out of the woods yet, I will continue to wear a mask and encourage everyone in Montana to do the same,” he said at the time.
There is no state mandate, but clients and staff in hair salons, beauty, tattoo and massage salons must wear masks, as part of the current Targeted Health Measures requirements.
North Dakota didn’t have a mask-wearing mandate until November 2020 and let it expire in January.
“We put the mask use mandate when hospital capacity was approaching its peak and that’s when we applied it because that’s when we needed it. Again, as we are now with less than 2% of our total hospital capacity going to covid patients, “said the Governor, Doug Burgum, Republican, in February, during an appearance on CNN Newsroom with Brianna Keilar.
“We have always encouraged masks from the beginning… In our state it’s not about what the government says, it’s about what people do and whether people can socially distance themselves, if people are in places where they need to wear a mask We have seen people step forward and do what they have to do and that is reflected in the numbers.
The Oklahoma City council voted in a special meeting in July to pass an emergency public safety ordinance that requires face covering in indoor public places throughout Oklahoma City.
Several counties and cities, including Charleston and Columbia, have mask wearing mandates.
Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, has taken a hands-off approach to COVID-19. In October, he wrote in an opinion piece that the government should not impose a mask requirement.
“As I said before, if people want to wear a mask, they should be free to do so,” he wrote. “Similarly, those who do not want to wear a mask should not be embarrassed into wearing one.”
South Dakota is second only to North Dakota in the number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.
Although there is no state mandate, Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, signed an executive order that gives the mayors of 89 counties the authority to issue mask-wearing requirements.
Texas had a statewide mask-wearing mandate, but Governor Greg Abbott, Republican, on March 2 annulled most previous COVID-19-related decrees, including the mask-wearing mandate, confirmed at a press conference.
“It’s clear with the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations and safe practices that Texans are using, that state mandates are no longer necessary,” Abbott said.
In addition, as of March 10, all companies of any type can be 100% open, the governor said.
Although it is true that the numbers of covid-19, have decreased, experts warned that Americans should not lower their guard.
‘I think it’s really critical for us to scale up vaccinations as much as we can and in the meantime do everything we can to continue the use of masks, the physical distancing, these other measures that we know are really important to control the spread of the disease. infection, “CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen said in February.
CNN’s Chris Boyette, Carma Hassan, Jamiel Lynch, Haley Brink, and Sarah Mucha contributed to this report.
* With information from CNN in Spanish.