Several states are in the process of phasing out mask mandates as the number of reported coronavirus cases plummets to the lowest level since December, when the highly contagious Omicron variant sparked a surge in cases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to push for the use of masks as a means of reducing the transmission of the coronavirus.
The push to have people remove their masks highlights the patchwork of health protocols, which have been applied inconsistently since the pandemic began in the United States in early 2020. (Find all state-level policies and guidelines about masks here.)
Here’s what’s shifting at the state level:
The state will let its mandate for universal inner masks expire on Feb. 15, officials said. Face masks are still mandatory inside for people who have not been vaccinated. Anyone in high-risk environments, including hospitals and schools, will still be required to wear a mask.
A edict wearing a mask for students and staff in state schools will be lifted by Feb. 28, Governor Ned Lamont said.
The state’s mask rule for businesses and workplaces expires Feb. 11, but that for schools will remain until March 31, Governor John Carney said.
A statewide mask requirement in Illinois will be lifted Feb. 28, administration JB Pritzker said.
The statewide mandate for school masks expires Feb. 28, Governor Charlie Baker announced.
Oregon will end its indoor public spaces mask order by March 31, Governor Kate Brown announced.
Beginning the second week of March, New Jersey will stop requiring students and school staff to wear masks, Governor Phil Murphy announced.
New York’s strict mask-or-vaccine system has ended, Governor Kathy Hochul announced, ending the requirement that companies ask customers for proof of full vaccination or need masks indoors. A mandate for a school mask expires on February 21.
A mask requirement for K-12 students ended on January 17.
An inner mask mandate ends Feb. 11, state officials said.
Governor Glenn Youngkin issued an executive order on Jan. 15 that said parents could decide for themselves whether they wanted to follow school mask rules. The order was intended to end a mandate imposed by Mr Youngkin’s predecessor, Ralph Northam. A judge in Virginia has issued a temporary ruling that allows seven school districts to continue to enforce mask wearing.