Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes / CC
Published May 18, 2021
By James McAllister [Ballotpedia via The Center Square] –
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) amended its mask guidance May 13. The new guidance says fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in most indoor and outdoor public settings, regardless of the number of people gathered.
The guidance still recommends fully vaccinated people wear masks and social distance at doctor’s offices, hospitals, and long-term care facilities like nursing homes. Masks are also recommended in congregate settings (like homeless shelters and prisons), when traveling on public transportation (like on planes and buses), and at transportation hubs like airports and bus stations.
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At least 7 states amended their existing mask orders to align with CDC guidance and exempt fully vaccinated individuals from most indoor mask requirements, as of May 14.
- West Virginia
Ballotpedia tracked four other changes and announced changes to state mask requirements:
• Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) fully ended the statewide mask mandate for vaccinated and unvaccinated residents on May 14.
• Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) announced May 13 he would amend the state’s mask requirements to align with CDC guidance starting May 19.
• Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced May 13 he would amend the state’s mask requirements to align with the CDC guidance but did not say when he would update the order.
• Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said he will lift the statewide indoor mask mandate once 70% of adult residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. At the time of the announcement, that figure stood at 65%.
Thirty-nine states issued statewide public mask requirements during the pandemic. Twenty-four states had statewide mask orders at the time of this writing, including 19 of the 23 states with Democratic governors and five out of the 27 states with Republican governors.
Of those 24 states, 17 required masks for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Seven states exempted fully vaccinated people.
Of the 15 states that have fully ended statewide public mask requirements, 11 have Republican governors, and four have Democratic governors. Twelve states have ended mask requirements through executive order, two (Kansas and Utah) have ended mask requirements through legislative action, and one (Wisconsin) has ended its mandate through court order.