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Face masks: Everything you need to know
Your hub for buying, wearing and latest news. Plus the latest updates for your local area.
Updated . What changed?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises the public to wear face masks or covers in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
There are many options available to the general public including N95 or KN95 masks, cloth masks and surgical or disposable masks. Our guides offer to help you purchase, use or create your own masks while keeping you up to date on the latest updates from your state or county.
Tuesday, September 8: The University of Washington’s School of Medicine estimates the US public could reduce deaths due to COVID-19 by 30% simply by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. Modeling three scenarios — worst case, best case and unchanged practices — the Institute predicts some 770,000 lives worldwide could be saved by New Year’s Day with rapid action.
Tuesday, August 25: The Economist, along with calculations from Goldman Sachs, has concluded that the economic value of a face mask is $56.14. According to the publication, an American wearing a mask for one day is helping prevent a fall in the GDP by that very amount.
Monday, August 17: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has reversed his previous order banning the state’s municipalities from issuing individual mask mandates. The “Local Option Face Covering Requirements” are meant to empower cities and counties to issue their own restrictions.
Monday, August 10: In addition to requiring all crew and passengers to wear face masks while onboard, United, Delta and Alaska Airlines have created a no-fly list for customers who don’t comply. Passengers who refuse to wear face coverings will be added to a list that effectively bans them from flying with the airline in the future.
Monday, August 10: Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are the latest nationwide retailers to require all employees, customers and vendors to wear face masks while inside its stores. Dollar Tree will also add an employee health screening program and Plexiglas guards at cash registers.
Friday, August 7: The World Health Organization, CDC, Google, Facebook and over 40 other partner organizations have joined forces to launch World Mask Week. The initiative — taking place August 7 through 14 — aims to encourage wearing masks in public on a global scale to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Monday, August 3: Wisconsin is the latest state to issue a statewide face mask mandate. Governor Tony Evers’ ordinance states that masks must be worn in all public enclosed spaces and at outdoor bars and restaurants when not eating or drinking. The order is in effect until September 28.
Tuesday, July 28: McDonald’s is among the latest batch of business giants to require the use of face masks when entering its restaurants nationwide. It joins Target and all Gap brand stores — such as Banana Republic and Old Navy — in launching the ordinance on August 1.
Friday, July 24: Vermont Governor Phil Scott has issued a statewide face mask mandate effective August 1. The order requires those ages 2 and up to wear face coverings in public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. Scott had previously resisted enacting such a mandate, but opted for a more forceful approach due to rising coronavirus rates across the Green Mountain State.
Thursday, July 23: In defiance of Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s executive order banning individual counties from issuing face mask mandates, some municipalities are issuing them anyway. Joining that list is Dekalb County, which now requires its citizens ages 8 and up to wear face coverings while in any public space. The ordinance goes into effect July 25.
Friday, July 17: Target, CVS and Walgreens are the latest retail giants to require shoppers to wear face masks while inside stores. CVS and Walgreens will start the requirement on July 20, with Target not far behind on August 1.
Thursday, July 16: Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp has placed an unprecedented statewide ban on allowing cities and counties to require the use of face masks. The order effectively voids at least 15 municipalities’ previous mask mandates. The governor is instead encouraging residents to voluntarily wear masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Wednesday, July 15: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has issued a statewide face mask ordinance that will be in effect from July 16 at 5 p.m. through at least July 31. The mandate states that face masks must be worn in all public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible.
Wednesday, July 15: Walmart and Sam’s Club will soon join the growing list of retail giants requiring the use of masks or face coverings while shopping. The retailers’ mandates will take effect July 20, joining other big box stores like Costco, Apple and Best Buy.
Tuesday, July 14: Due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases, Louisiana is now under a statewide face mask ordinance. Residents ages eight and above must now wear masks in any public space, and bars are closed to on-premises consumption.
Tuesday, July 14: West Lafayette, Indiana governor John Dennis has signed an executive order requiring the use of face masks in all indoor and outdoor public spaces. The order expands upon the city’s previous mandate that applied to businesses. Fines for noncompliance will range from $100 to $250.
Friday, July 10: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has tightened the reigns of the state’s existing face mask policy. In addition to allowing restaurants to refuse entry to those not wearing masks, the revised order also requires face coverings in crowded outdoor spaces.
Thursday, July 9: Many large retail stores require customers and employees to wear face masks, but who enforces the orders continues to be a grey area — see a list of retail giants and their policies.
Thursday, July 9: Due to a sharp increase in recent coronavirus cases, a “red alert” has been issued for seven Ohio counties. The governor’s office is now requiring that people wear masks in public spaces in Cuyahoga, Butler, Franklin, Hamilton, Huron, Montgomery and Trumbull counties.
Thursday, July 9: Dane County, Wisconsin — which includes Madison — has issued the state’s first face mask mandate in response to a recent spike in coronavirus cases in the area. Starting Monday, July 13, masks will be required inside of all public spaces for people age five and up.
Wednesday, July 1: As coronavirus cases continue to surge across South Carolina, multiple cities and counties have implemented face mask ordinances, including Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton County, Folly Beach, Hilton Head, Kiawah Island, Mount Pleasant and Summerville. These are the first mandates issued for South Carolina since the pandemic began.
Wednesday, July 1: It is now a requirement to wear face masks while indoors in Jacksonville, Florida. The mandate, imposed Monday, will likely not sit well with the Trump campaign, which recently moved the site of the Republican National Convention from Charlotte to Jacksonville in an apparent effort to avoid face mask ordinances.
Tuesday, June 30: Kansas governor Laura Kelly has announced an executive order requiring the use of face masks while in public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. The mandate will go into effect Friday, July 3 and will be enforced by local officials.
Friday, June 26:
Not waiting for a statewide ordinance, the city of College Station, Texas, passed an order requiring the wearing of face masks in all businesses. The order applies to people ages 10 and older, and businesses that violate the order face fines of up to $1,000. The requirement goes into effect at 6 a.m. on Monday, June 29.
Thursday, June 25:
As the state faces a sharp two-week increase in COVID-19 cases, and Governor Ron DeSantis resists the call for statewide guidance, local governments in Florida’s Tampa Bay are enacting a series of ordinances requiring face coverings in public settings. Residents of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties are required to wear a mask in public indoor spaces, while Pasco County limits face covering requirements to businesses, government offices and schools. The city of Tampa enacted its own ordinance requiring face masks when indoors and outside the home at all times. Many of the ordinances come with fines and citations for failing to follow the guidelines. Tampa Bay joins counties Broward, Orange and Miami-Dade in attempting to curb the rapid spread of the virus.
Wednesday, June 24:
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order requiring the public to wear face coverings while in 10 settings that include retail, restaurants, manufacturing and public transportation. The order does not come with law enforcement or fines for failing to adhere to public safety guidelines intended to curb the rapid rise statewide in COVID-19 cases. The ordinance goes into effect Friday, June 26th.
Wednesday, June 24:
As Florida becomes the nation’s new epicenter for COVID-19 cases, Palm Beach County has enacted for all cities and incorporated areas in the county an ordinance requiring face coverings in stores, restaurants, hotels, gyms and public buildings where social distancing isn’t possible. Violators face fines of $250 to $500, with fines extended to businesses that refuse to post signs requiring masks.
Tuesday, June 23:
In response to reports of increasing COVID-19 cases statewide, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and Secretary of Health John Wiesman issued a joint mandatory face covering order when in public, including outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible. The ordinance goes into effect Friday, June 26th, and does not specify an end date.
Tuesday, June 23:
As the state’s number of coronavirus cases reach record levels, Texas Governor Greg Abbott urges citizens to to wear face coverings, maintain social distancing and avoid leaving the home except for necessary errands. While there doesn’t appear to be repercussions for failing to observe the new guidelines, Abbott is responding to a surge in COVID-19 by scaling back reopening plans and setting restrictions on outdoor gatherings, among other health and safety measures.
Monday, June 22: Tucson, Arizona, as well as all of Maricopa County, Arizona — which includes Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and Mesa — have issued ordinances requiring the use of face coverings in all public spaces. The mandate expands upon the current statewide suggestion to wear masks when in public.
Monday, June 22:
Florida’s Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, now requires the use of face coverings while in public indoor spaces. The Florida Keys ordinance is expected to be in effect until June 2021.
Friday, June 19:
As COVID-19 cases inch toward 15,000 statewide, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson issued new guidelines on the wearing of face coverings both in- and outdoors whenever among people outside your household and in circumstances when social distancing isn’t possible effective immediately.
Thursday, June 18: In response to increasing numbers of Californians at work and in the public amid the relaxing of quarantine measures, and a possible spike in COVID-19 cases, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide order requiring face coverings in public spaces, healthcare settings, transportation and other designated high-risk situations, with limited exemptions.
Monday, June 8: The World Health Organization (WHO) now recommends that all people wear masks in any public space where social distancing isn’t possible. The guidance follows earlier WHO announcements suggesting a lack of evidence that healthy people should wear masks.
Friday, June 5: Denver Governor Jared Polis has announced an ordinance allowing businesses to refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask. The executive order punctuates Colorado’s existing face mask requirements.
Wednesday, May 27: Beginning Friday, all Virginians will be required to wear face masks while inside any public space and wherever large groups can congregate. The mandate extends to children age 10 and over, but exceptions will be made for those eating and drinking at restaurants, exercising or with health conditions.
Wednesday, May 20: As President Trump prepares to tour a Ford Motor Co. factory Thursday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has stated that Trump has a legal obligation to wear a face mask. Nessel cited the state’s face mask law and urged the president to respect the efforts of Ford employees. Trump has yet to wear a mask despite federal recommendations and mandates.
Thursday, May 14: The latest California city to pass a new face mask ordinance is Arvin. Officials now require employees of local businesses as well as city employees to wear masks while at work.
Thursday, May 14: The state of New Mexico now requires the use of face masks by all people in all public spaces. The new ordinance expands upon previous measures that included employees of essential businesses.
Wednesday, May 13: Philadelphia, Mississippi becomes the first city in the state to require the wearing of face masks. The ordinance mandates their use inside of any city building.
Wednesday, May 13: Palo Alto joins the growing list of California cities requiring residents to wear face masks while inside of businesses and on public transportation. The law does not apply to those exercising in outdoor spaces.
Tuesday, May 12: Seattle and the rest of King County join the growing list of regions requiring the use of face masks. King County’s ordinance requires residents to wear face coverings while on public transit and inside of businesses. The mandate extends to outdoor areas where social distancing isn’t possible.
Tuesday, May 12: As Nashville gradually begins to reopen businesses throughout the city, a new ordinance requires all public-facing workers to wear face masks. Outside of the requirement, health officials are also encouraging the general public to wear face coverings.
Monday, May 11: Singapore Airlines and Silkair join a growing list of international airlines now requiring the use of face masks while on board. Additionally, passengers flying to Singapore must undergo temperature checks and a verbal health declaration before boarding.
Monday, May 11: The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) will begin requiring all travelers and airport employees to wear face masks beginning May 18. The move is in lockstep with similar restrictions enforced at other major airports throughout the country.
Monday, May 11: Los Angeles has stepped up its mask ordinance, now requiring the use of face coverings at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The new requirement also extends to travelers on busses and trains within the city.
Friday, May 8: Piggybacking off an existing mask order for employees of essential businesses and restaurants or retail spaces of 50,000-square-feet or more, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham will extend the order to employees of all essential businesses acting as retail on May 11.
Friday, May 8: In response to shrinking profits and general public concern about the spread of COVID-19, rideshare company Lyft has made face masks mandatory for both drivers and passengers.
Thursday, May 7: In an effort to move Sacramento’s mask ordinance from voluntary to mandatory, the city’s mayor is urging county health officials to take action. The issue will be addressed directly during May 12 meetings and beyond.
Thursday, May 7: Fresno, California, mayor Lee Brand has issued a shelter-in-place order tthat will remain in effect through May 31. The order also requires the wearing of face masks at all essential businesses and public places.
Wednesday, May 6: As business and restaurant restrictions in Alachua County, Florida, begin to loosen, all residents age 2 and up are now required to wear face masks in places where social distancing isn’t possible. Any violation of the policy will be considered a second-degree misdemeanor.
Wednesday, May 6: Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is set to sign an order requiring face masks for all residents in public. The order extends a previous face mask requirement for essential workers. The order is expected to go into effect on Friday, May 8.
Monday, May 4: Outside of the US, a growing number of countries are enforcing their own face mask ordinances. Aljazeera has the breakdown.
Monday, May 4: Following over a dozen standalone restrictions in counties throughout the state, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker announced Monday a statewide mask ordinance. Effective May 6, all people over the age of two must wear face masks or coverings in public spaces when social distancing isn’t an option.
Friday, May 1: San Diego County joins the majority of Southern California in requiring face coverings in public. The order applies to those ages 3 or older in public transportation, businesses and anywhere you’re unable to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between people. Violators risk getting turned away with the possibility of fines.
Friday, May 1: A growing number of US airlines are following JetBlue’s lead by requiring passengers and flight crew to wear face masks from the time of check in through deplaning. Joining JetBlue in the initiative are American, United, Delta, Frontier and Alaska.
Thursday, April 30: Officials in Salt Lake County announced Wednesday that face masks will be required for employees of most businesses as the county prepares to reopen on May 1. Some businesses specializing in “personal services” such as hair salons and tattoo shops will require both customers and employees to wear face masks.
Thursday, April 30: Beginning May 4, retail giant Costco will require all patrons over the age of two to wear face masks or face coverings while shopping. The move follows similar ordinances from Walmart, Publix, Kroger and other retailers.
Thursday, April 30: Maine governor Janet Mills has issued a statewide ordinance requiring the use of face masks in all public spaces and while using public transportation or rideshares. The restrictions will be in effect from May 1 through May 31.
Wednesday, April 29: Washington, DC governor Muriel Bowser today extended the District’s state of emergency and public health emergency through May 15. The ordinance requires face mask usage in most public spaces and extends various safety measures to vulnerable populations in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
Wednesday, April 29: Birmingham becomes the first city in Alabama to require face coverings in public places or face penalties that include fines of up to $500 and 30 days in municipal jail. The requirement goes into effect May 1st.
Wednesday, April 29: Monterey joins the growing list of California counties requiring the public to wear face coverings when in public. The measure extends to essential businesses, including healthcare services and public transportation, effective Thursday, April 30th.
Wednesday, April 29: Beginning May 4, JetBlue will require all passengers and flight attendants to wear masks while checking in, boarding, mid-flight and deplaning. JetBlue is the first U.S. airline to enforce the measure.
Tuesday, April 28: The cities of Cambridge and Peabody in Massachusetts join Somerville in imposing fines of $300 to $1,000 for violating the cities’ orders to wear a face covering when in public.
Tuesday, April 28: Maine’s Portland City Council voted to extend the city’s stay-at-home order and newly require public-facing employees to wear face coverings or masks, effective Thursday, April 30. The city joins Brunswick in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Tuesday, April 28: Kentucky governor Andy Beshear announced Monday that state residents have two weeks to start wearing masks while inside of a business. The ordinance will take effect on May 11 and extends to both patrons and employees as the state ramps up efforts to reopen.
Tuesday, April 28: The Aspen City Council has passed a resolution making it mandatory to wear a face covering while in Aspen city limits. The ordinance begins April 20 and will be in effect until at least May 27.
Monday, April 27: The mayor of Somerville, a city northwest of Boston, announced on Monday an order requiring face masks when in public spaces, including shared entrances at apartment complexes, on sidewalks, at grocery stores and when exercising outdoors. Violators face a $300 fine.
Monday, April 27: As the state gears up to reopen manufacturing, distribution, construction and general offices on May 4, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is requiring face masks for all employees and customers. Consumer and retail businesses are expected to reopen May 12.
Monday, April 27: Delaware governor John Carney has issued the 13th modification of the declaration of a State of Emergency. Effective April 28, the order requires all people over the age of 12 to wear masks in public places throughout the state.
Friday, April 24: Michigan’s stay-at-home order has been extended to May 15 and now mandates all residents of the state to wear face coverings over the mouth and nose when in public. The order goes into effect starting April 26 at 11:59 p.m. and stops short of criminal penalties for violators.
Friday, April 24: Illnois Governor JB Pritzker extended disparate city ordinances into a statewide order requiring face masks or coverings for people over the age of 2 when in public and unable to maintain 6-foot social distancing, including indoor spaces like stores. The order goes into effect on Friday, May 1, and is expected to last through the end of May.
Friday, April 24: In a series of cascading city ordinances in California, Santa Cruz County has issued an order requiring face coverings for people over the age of 2 when conducting business in public, including indoors, in line or at a drive-up window and on public transportation. People who don’t follow the order risk a misdemeanor charge and a fine. The order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Friday.
Friday, April 24: El Paso County officials have issued an emergency order requiring face coverings for people over the age of 2 when outside their homes or residences. Exceptions include those who have trouble breathing, are exercising outdoors or within 6 feet of people in their household. The order is in effect as of Friday at 12:01 a.m. and further restricts gatherings, access to nursing homes and assisted living facilities and use of hike and bike trails.
Thursday, April 23: Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced on Wednesday an order requiring face coverings for people over the age of 10 when out in public or among people they don’t live with. Anybody caught without a covering over the nose and mouth risks a fine of up to $1,000. The ordinance takes effect on Monday, April 27, for an expected 30 days.
Wednesday, April 22: Six counties in the Bay Area that make up about five million people – Sonoma, San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin – have announced orders to require mask-wearing starting Wednesday.
Tuesday, April 21: Orange County joins a growing list of California counties requiring face masks or coverings for employees at retail businesses that include grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants. The mandate goes into effect on Friday, April 24.
Monday, April 20: Hawaii residents must wear a face masks when in public places, using public transportation and ordering at a drive-through. Violators could face up a $5,000 fine or up to a year in prison, according to Governor David Ige’s order.
Monday, April 20: Several Bay Area counties join neighboring counties already requiring the public to wear facial coverings or masks in public, including in essential businesses and on public transit. The ordinance is effective as of Friday, with enforcement going into effect on Wednesday, April 22, at 8 a.m.
Monday, April 20: Connecticut residents over the age of two must wear a face mask in public if they cannot maintain six feet of distance from others, effective April 20. Employees and customers of any age must also wear face masks inside essential businesses.
Saturday, April 18: Essential workers in Rhode Island must wear a cloth face mask while working, unless they are able to maintain six feet of distance from others. Businesses are to provide facial coverings to employees.
Friday, April 17: Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order requiring New Yorkers to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when in a public place. The ordinance includes anybody over the age of 2 and able to medically tolerate a mask. The order goes into effect on Friday, April 17, at 8 p.m.
Friday, April 17: Sonoma County Public Health Officer Dr. Sundari Masi signed an order that states the public wear facial coverings before entering indoor facilities other than their homes, any enclosed open spaces or while outdoors and unable to maintain at least six feet of distance between people. The ordinance includes children ages 2 and older. The order goes into effect on Friday, April 17, at 12:01 a.m.
Thursday, April 16: Officials in Missouri report a recall of KN95 face masks the state paid $17 million for that don’t appear to meet Illinois Department of Health performance standards.
Wednesday, April 15: Pennsylvania state health secretary signed an order Wednesday that states all essential businesses that are open during coronavirus must turn away customers who are not wearing masks. The order establishes other safety protocols for businesses to try to continue operating safely. The order goes into effect on Sunday, April 19, at 8 p.m. Read the full text from Dr. Rachel Levine.
Wednesday, April 14: Governor Gina Raimondo signed emergency declaration requiring face masks in public settings where social distancing measurs are difficult to maintain. Employers must also provide employees with face masks or the materials to make one.
Wednesday, April 8: New Jersey became the first state to order that all customers and employees wear a face mask while inside essential businesses, on construction sites and using public transportation. Businesses are to turn away customers who do not comply.
Thursday, April 2: Online giant Amazon has announced that it is no longer accepting public orders for N95 face masks in its effort to prioritize essential supplies, including coronavirus tests, to hospitals and government agencies. It’s also forgoing a profit from such sales.
Top stores for masks in October 2020
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How to fit your mask properly
When putting a mask, a tight seal should be created against your nose and mouth. Use the instructions provided with your mask for correct fit. You should test that a seal has been created by exhaling heavily. Air should not escape through any cracks. If a seal hasn’t been created, re-fit and test again.
How to remove your mask properly
First, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before putting on your mask. When you’re ready to take it off, do not touch the front of the mask — it could be contaminated. Instead, remove it by pulling the bottom strap over the back of your head, followed by the top strap. Discard the mask, and then wash your hands.
Which states require face masks in public?
States and counties across the US are putting in place requirements for mandatory mask wearing in public spaces. We’re updating our table daily for changes across the United States. Search for your county and/or state below.
|State or territory||Requirements||More info|
|Alabama||Statewide mandate requiring face coverings in public for people ages 6+, including transportation.||More info|
|Alaska||No statewide mandate for face masks in public, though recommended. Face coverings required for employees of reopening businesses statewide. Local ordinances require face coverings in Anchorage and Juneau.||More info|
|Arizona||No statewide mandate for face masks in public, though recommended. Face masks required for patrons and employees of barbers and cosmetologists statewide. Local ordinances require face coverings in Avondale, Carefree, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Guadalupe, Litchfield Park, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Surprise, Tempe, Tolleson, Tuscon and Maricopa County.||More info|
|Arkansas||Statewide mandate requiring face coverings for people ages 9+ indoors and outdoors when exposed to people outside of household and when social distancing isn't possible.||More info|
|California||Statewide mandate requiring face coverings or masks in common and public spaces and outdoors when distancing isn't possible. Nonrestricted alternatives OK for those who have a medical condition.||More info|
|Colorado||Statewide mandate requiring face masks for people ages 10+ in indoor public spaces and some outdoor spaces.||More info|
|Connecticut||Statewide mandate requiring face coverings or masks in common and public spaces and outdoors when social distancing isn't possible.||More info|
|Delaware||Statewide mandate requiring face masks in public for people ages 2+.||More info|
|Florida||No statewide mandate for face masks in public, though recommended for those ages 2+. Face coverings required for personal care providers and employees. Local ordinances require some form of face covering mandate in public, including Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Duval, Gadsden, Hillsborough, Indian River, Leon, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie and Walton counties. Also required in Anna Maria, Apalachicola, Aventura, Biscayne Park, Bradenton, Boca Raton, Cocoa Beach, Cooper City, Coral Springs, Cutler Bay, Dania Beach, Davie, Daytona Beach, Deerfield Beach, DeLand, Delray Beach, Doral, Fernandina Beach, Flagler Beach, Florrida City, Forrt Lauderdale, Fort Myers Beach, Golden Beach, Gulf Breeze, Hialeah, Hollywood, Holmes Beach, Homestead, Indian Harbour Beach, Indiatlantic, Jacksonville, Key Biscayne, Key West, Leesburg, Lakelsand, Mary Esther, Medley, Melbourne, Miami, Miami Lakes, Milton, Miramar, New Smyrna Beach, North Miami, Oakland Park, Ocala, Orange City, Palatka, Palm Coast, Palmetto Bay, Panama City Beach, Pensacola, Perry, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Punta Gorda, St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Sanibal, Sarasota, Satellite Beach, Surfside, Tamarac, Tampa, West Melbourne, Wilton Manor, Winter Haven and Venice.||More info|
|Georgia||No statewide mandate requiring face coverings in public, though recommended. Face coverings required for employees of bars, restaurants, personal care providers, amusement parks, carnivals, conventions and live performances. Local ordinances require face coverings in Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Clayton County, College Park, Decatur, DeKalb County, Doraville, Dunwoody, East Point, Fairburn, Rome, Sandy Springs, Savannah, Smyrna, South Fulton, Statesboro and Union City.||More info|
|Hawaii||Statewide mandate requiring face masks in most public places and while ordering from drive-thrus. Violators face up to $5,000 fine or up to a year in prison.||More info|
|Idaho||No statewide mandate for face masks in public, though face coverings strongly advised for residents. Local ordinances require face coverings in Ada County and in Bellevue, Boise, Driggs, Ketchum, McCall and Victor.||More info|
|Illinois||Statewide mandate requiring face coverings for people age 2+ in public spaces where social distancing isn't possible.||More info|
|Indiana||Statewide mandate requiring face coverings for people ages 8+ indoors and when social distancing isn't possible.||More info|
|Iowa||No statewide mandate requiring face masks in public. Local ordinances require face coverings in Dubuque and Johnson counties and Ames, Iowa City and Mount Vernon, Waterloo.||More info|
|Kansas||Statewide mandate requiring face masks in public spaces.||More info|
|Kentucky||Statewide mandate requiring face masks in public spaces.||More info|
|Louisiana||Statewide mandate requiring people ages 8+ to wear face masks in public spaces.||More info|
|Maine||Statewide mandate requiring people ages 2+ to wear face masks in public spaces.||More info|
|Maryland||Statewide mandate requiring face masks on public transportation, in grocery stores and in retail establishments.||More info|
|Massachusetts||Statewide mandate requiring people ages 2+ to wear face masks in public.||More info|
|Michigan||Statewide mandate requiring face masks over nose and mouth in public.||More info|
|Minnesota||Statewide mandate requiring face masks in indoor public spaces and some outdoor spaces — including transportation — where social distancing isn't possible.||More info|
|Mississippi||Statewide mandate requiring face masks in public.||More info|
|Missouri||No statewide mandate for face masks in public, though recommended. Local ordinances require face masks or coverings in Cape Girardeau, Clay, Jackson and Johnson counties and in Branson, Columbia, Joplin, Kansas City, North Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis.||More info|
|Montana||Statewide mandate requiring face masks for people ages 5+ in indoor public spaces and some outdoor gathering spaces in all counties with at least four active COVID-19 cases.||More info|
|Nebraska||No statewide mandate requiring face masks in public, though recommended. Local ordinances require face masks or coverings in some circumstances in Douglas County, Lincoln and Omaha.||More info|
|Nevada||Statewide mandate requiring face masks in public.||More info|
|New Hampshire||Statewide mandate requiring face masks for people in groups of 100+ and all indoor and outdoor public spaces where social distancing isn't possible.||More info|
|New Jersey||Statewide mandate requiring face masks for people ages 2+ in all indoor and outdoor public spaces where social distancing isn't possible.||More info|
|New Mexico||Statewide mandate requiring face masks in public.||More info|
|New York||Statewide mandate requiring face coverings in public spaces and where social distancing isn't possible.||More info|
|North Carolina||Statewide mandate requiring face coverings for people ages 11+ in public spaces.||More info|
|North Dakota||No statewide mandate requiring face masks in public, though recommended. Required for personal care services employees.||More info|
|Ohio||Statewide mandate requiring face masks in all public spaces.||More info|
|Oklahoma||No statewide mandate requiring face masks in public, though recommended. Local ordinances require face masks or coverings in some circumstances in Altus, Chickasha, El Reno, Guthrie, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.||More info|
|Oregon||Statewide mandate requiring face masks for people ages 5+ in indoor and outdoor public spaces.||More info|
|Pennsylvania||Statewide mandate requiring face masks in all indoor and outdoor public spaces.||More info|
|Puerto Rico||Mandate requiring face masks in public.||More info|
|Rhode Island||Statewide mandate requiring face masks or coverings in all indoor and outdoor public spaces.||More info|
|South Carolina||No statewide mandate for face masks in public, though encouraged. Local ordinances require face coverings in some form in Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Orangeburg, Richland and Walterboro/Colleton counties. City ordinances in Arcadia Lakes, Beaufort, Bishopville, Camden, Cayce, Clemson, Columbia, Conway, Folly Beach, Forest Acres, Fort Mill, Greenville, Hilton Head, Irmo, Kiawah Island, Lexington, Manning, Mount Pleasant, Myrtle Beach, Newberry, North, Rock Hill, Spartanburg, Summerville, Sumter and West Columbia.||More info|
|South Dakota||No statewide mandate for face masks in public, though encouraged.||More info|
|Tennessee||No statewide mandate requiring face masks in public, though encouraged for employees and members of the public. Local ordinances require face masks or coverings in some circumstances in Davidson, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, Knox, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Sevier, Shelby, Sumner, Tipton, Washington, Williamson and Wilson counties and in Nashville.||More info|
|Texas||Statewide mandate requiring face masks for people ages 9+ in public, with exemptions for counties with fewer than 20 active cases of COVID-19. Local ordinances require face coverings in some form in College Station, Denton and McKinney.||More info|
|Utah||No statewide mandate requiring face masks in public, though recommended. Local ordinances require face masks or coverings in some circumstances in Logan and Springdale, plus Salt Lake, Summit and Grand counties.||More info|
|Vermont||Statewide mandate requiring face masks for people ages 2+ while in public spaces where social distancing isn't possible.||More info|
|Virginia||Statewide mandate requiring face masks while in public and wherever large groups can congregate.||More info|
|Washington||Statewide mandate requiring face coverings for people ages 2+ in all situations where social distancing isn't possible.||More info|
|Washington, DC||District-wide mandate requiring face masks for people ages 2+ whenever outside the home or likely to come in contact with others.||More info|
|West Virginia||Statewide mandate requiring face masks for people ages 9+ in all indoor public spaces and when social distancing isn't possible.||More info|
|Wisconsin||Statewide mandate requiring face masks for people ages 5+ in enclosed public spaces and at outdoor bars and restaurants.||More info|
|Wyoming||No statewide mandate requiring face masks in public, though required for patrons and employees of gyms and personal care businesses. Local ordinances require face masks or coverings in some form in Teton County.||More info|
Which type of mask do I need?
There’s a lot of information out there about when and where to wear a mask and what type of mask you need for various situations. Use this quick guide to help you decide which kind of face mask best fits your needs.
|Mask type||Who’s it best for?||Description||How long does it last?|
|N95, KN95 respirator masks||Healthcare workers||Blocks at least 95% of airborne particles when worn properly. Adheres to government testing regulations.||Can be reused in certain situations, but must be discarded after coming into contact with bodily fluids, infected patients and in other circumstances. Read the CDC’s full reuse guidelines.|
|Surgical face masks||People who are sick and caretakers||Protects wearers from infecting others. Usually made of 3 layers of melt-blown fabric.||Intended to be discarded after every use.|
|Cloth face masks||The general population when in a public space||Typically made from cotton fabric with elastic or tie straps. Some designs have a pocket to place a removable filter.||Can be washed and reused for weeks or even months, as long as the material maintains its integrity.|
|DIY face masks||The general population when in a public space||Can be homemade using an old T-shirt, bandana, coffee filter or other readily available materials.||Depends on the materials used. Most DIY cloth masks can be washed and reused for weeks or even months, as long as the material maintains its integrity.|
Guide to choosing a face mask
Dr. William Li, a bestselling author and president and co-founder of the Angiogenesis Foundation provided Finder with tips on selecting a face mask:
- Get a mask made of at least 2 layers of fabric to prevent respiratory droplets from being passed through from either side.
- Choose a mask that has a good fit for your face, covering your nose and mouth with as little air leak around the sides as possible. If there’s a bendable metal strip for the bridge of the nose, that can help create a better seal.
- Make sure the mask can easily stay attached. Ear loops or ties are convenient features.
“Find a mask that is comfortable,” Li says. “You need to be able to breathe reasonably comfortably while wearing it.”
“Surgical masks are now easier to find and a good option,” Li adds. “They have been effective in keeping infection rates low in hospitals.”
How to make your own face mask
If cloth or N95 masks are hard to find or out of stock online, consider sewing your own. Guides like this one from the New York Times outline the steps that can have you wearing a cloth mask in an hour or two. If you have a small swatch of fabric about the size of a napkin, shoelaces, scissors, and a needle and thread, you can make a mask without additional supplies.
Face mask charities and nonprofits in the US
Businesses giving back
With mask and personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages across the country, a number of companies and nonprofit organizations are donating supplies to healthcare workers and others in need. These are just a few companies that are involved in charitable donations across the US:
- Tom Bihn. This designer bag brand has shifted gears, offering cloth face masks for sale and donating one for every purchase to around 100 essential businesses and workers.
- Stanley Black & Decker has donated three million face masks and other PPE to healthcare workers and first responders.
- The Company Store has donated cotton sheets to Quilting for a Cause, Sewing Masks for Atlanta Hospitals, Sewers of Southwest Wisconsin and other charity organizations involved in making masks.
- Lucky Brand has donated denim and funds to Suay Sew Shop to make masks.
- Paradised. This designer clothing brand was offering non-medical face masks for free for a limited time, and has also donated hundreds of masks to healthcare workers.
- Masks by Whizley is donating 50,000 face masks to organizations in need. The company will donate 250 masks to 200 nonprofits, shelters, nonprofit organizations and frontline workers across the country. If you’re in need of masks, head to its website and fill out the donation request form.
Nonprofits in need of donations: How you can help
- Project C.U.R.E. is committing 100% of its resources toward assisting healthcare workers, first responders and government agencies involved in COVID-19 relief efforts. Project C.U.R.E. is currently in need of donations of hand sanitizer, bleach, PPE, masks, biohazard bags and other priority items. Distribution centers are located in Denver, Tempe, Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Kansas City and Nashville.
- GetUsPPE is on a mission to provide vital PPE and other medical supplies to healthcare and front-line workers. Whether you have a small or large amount of masks and other PPE you’d like to donate, you can make a difference.
- DirectRelief is working with public health authorities, nonprofits and businesses across the country and globally to provide PPE and medical equipment to healthcare workers. To get involved in this relief effort, head to the DirectRelief website to donate monthly, fundraise in your community or become a strategic business partner.
What’s the difference between P2, N95 and KN95 face masks?
The difference lies in the testing requirements for each country of origin. P2 masks adhere to European testing requirements, KN95 to Chinese requirements and N95 masks follow US guidelines. All offer nearly the same level of protection, according to a study by respirator company 3M.
|Filter performance||≥ 95%||≥ 95%||≥ 95%||≥ 94%||≥ 94%||≥ 95%|
|Test agent||NaCl||NaCl and paraffin oil||NaCl||NaCl||NaCl and paraffin oil||NaCl|
|Flow rate||85 L/min||95 L/min||85 L/min||95 L/min||95 L/min||85 L/min|
|Total inward leakage (TIL)||N/A||≤ 8% leakage||≤ 8% leakage||≤ 8% leakage||≤ 8% leakage||Inward Leakage measured and included in User Instructions|
|Inhalation resistance||≤ 343 Pa||≤ 70 Pa (at 30L/min)|
≤ 240 Pa (at 95 L/min)
≤ 500 Pa (clogging)
|≤ 350 Pa||≤ 70 Pa (at 30L/min)|
≤ 240 Pa (at 95L/min)
|≤ 70 Pa (at 30L/min)|
≤ 240 Pa (at 95L/min)
|≤ 70 Pa (w/valve)|
≤ 50 Pa (no valve)
|Flow rate||85L/min||Varied – see|
|85L/min||Varied – see|
|Varied – see|
|Exhalation resistance||≤ 245 Pa||≤ 300 Pa||≤ 250 Pa||≤ 120 Pa||≤ 300 Pa||≤ 70 Pa (w/valve) ≤ 50 Pa (no valve)|
|Exhalation valve leakage requirement||Leak rate ≤ 30mL/min||N/A||Depressurization to 0 Pa ≥ 20 sec||Leak rate ≤ 30mL/min||Visual inspection after 300L /min for 30 sec||Depressurization to 0 Pa ≥ 15sec|
|Force applied||-245 Pa||N/A||-1180 Pa||-250 Pa||N/A||-1,470 Pa|
|CO2 clearance requirement||N/A||≤ 1%||≤ 1%||≤ 1%||≤ 1%||≤ 1%|
What type of face masks do Americans prefer?
Finder published a paper in September 2020 analyzing which types of protective face masks are America’s favorite, including cloth, blue surgical, homemade, medical grade, fashionable or branded, and face shield style covers. This paper also includes a country comparison of United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Read more on this topic
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