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You Now Have to Wear a Mask in These 7 States

Mask up here, advise the experts.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

The CDC recommends anyone—be they vaccinated or not—in an area of "high transmission" of COVID wear their face mask when indoors. Following suit, a number of states and counties have issued mask mandates. "Cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 both continue to increase, overwhelmingly among the unvaccinated, but the risk is greater for everyone if we do not stop the ongoing spread of the virus and the Delta variant," state Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. "We know masking can help prevent transmission of COVID-19 and its variants. Until more people are vaccinated, we join CDC in recommending everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors in areas of substantial and high transmissions, and in K-12 schools." To see which other states have mask mandates, read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.


Washington D.C.

Aerial View of Washington DC at Night

"Given the trends in cases that we see that we want to get ahead of it and nip it in the bud as best we can – and we know that masks can be very effective in doing that – so beginning this Saturday at 5 a.m. I will issue by mayor's order the directive that people over the age of 2 must wear a mask indoors regardless of their vaccination status," D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said. "I know that D.C. residents have very closely following the public health guidelines and they will embrace this. Our businesses will embrace it," Bowser added. 


Atlanta, Georgia

Downtowntown Atlanta, Georgia Skyline.

"Public health experts overwhelmingly agree, and data has proved, that wearing a face covering helps slow the spread of this deadly virus," Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Wednesday evening. "As COVID-19 rates increase, we must remain vigilant, wear a mask, follow CDC guidelines and other measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our communities."


Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City skyline with The Scout monument.

"Since COVID-19 first entered our community, Kansas City has followed the guidance issued by our nation's leading scientific experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and locally by our own Health Department and regional health care leaders," Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said. "With a 15% increase in hospitalizations over the past week and a full vaccination rate of just 39 percent in Kansas City, the CDC and our own Health Department have issued recommendations that all persons — regardless of vaccination status — begin masking in all places of indoor public accommodation."


New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA downtown skyline at dusk.

"Now the CDC is saying that fully vaccinated individuals should return… to wearing a mask indoors when they're outside their homes," New Mexico Human Services Department Secretary David Scrase said. "The latest public health order … says New Mexicans should do what the CDC says we should do. So when the CDC makes a change like they have just now in masking guidance, that automatically becomes part of our public health order." "We warned you not to throw away your masks. Hopefully you didn't. Wash them up," Scrase added. "I bet they're all washed and folded in your drawer. Get them out. Put one in your car." 

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Many Counties in California

Drone shot of a woman walking down a street toward Downtown Los Angeles.

"Sacramento County became the third California county to convert its indoor mask recommendation into a mandate a day after new guidance from the state encouraged all individuals — regardless of vaccination status — to mask indoors," reports SFGate. "Los Angeles and Yolo were the counties that had indoor mask mandates in place ahead of the state's new guidance Wednesday on the more contagious delta variant. Sacramento County made its mandate announcement Thursday morning. In all three of these counties, less than 60% of residents are fully vaccinated; in Sacramento, only 51% have completed a vaccine series."

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Miami, Florida


"Masks are now required indoors at Miami-Dade County facilities for everyone regardless of their vaccination status, officials said Wednesday amid the surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the county.

The requirement takes effect immediately, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a news conference, despite a state law limiting local pandemic mandates," reports Florida's NBC station. "Levine Cava also addressed the 'enormous, alarming' rise of COVID-19 infections and urged everyone to get vaccinated if they haven't done so." "Please get the shot as soon as you can to protect yourself and your loved ones," she said.

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Many Counties in Nevada

Sunrise at Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

Counties with high or substantial transmission— including Carson, Churchill, Clark, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Washoe and White Pine—should mask up. "This update comes as the Delta variant now accounts for the majority of new cases. The Delta variant has shown to be much more contagious and spreads more than twice as easily from one person to another, compared with earlier strains," said Gov. Steve Sisolak's office. Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek