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Biden wants mandatory face masks in all 50 states


State governments have varied in the implementation of mask rules. Now President-elect Joe Biden wants to change that.

Biden implores Americans to wear face masks 4:29

(CNN) -

While health officials agree that masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19, state and local governments have varied widely in the implementation of mask rules.

Now President-elect Joe Biden wants to change that.

Biden's office has published plans that his administration intends to implement at the beginning of his term.

And one is a national order for the use of masks "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 local officials the authority to implement it or not.

These are the states that do not have statewide mask use requirements.


: Dr. Elmer Huerta: It is sad to see how the mask became a symbol of political militancy



Alaska does not require the use of masks, does not limit group sizes or business operations.

All the state does is encourage Alaskans to do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19, recommending that residents practice social distancing and wear a mask, without any mandate.

The mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, however, has signed an order requiring people to wear face coverings in public.


Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, allows individual counties to mandate mask wear, 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.


Masks are required statewide 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 state-wide requirement, but several local municipalities do, including Boise.


The state does not have a state requirement, but several local municipalities do.


On September 4, Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, lifted the state requirement to cover her face.

Just over a month later, and amid an increase in the number of cases, Reeves signed a decree that required face covering in counties with the highest number of COVID-19 cases.

But that order expires Wednesday.


The state does not have a state requirement, but several local municipalities do.


There is no state mandate, but customers and staff in barbershops, beauty salons, tattoo parlors, and massage parlors must wear masks, as part of current health care requirements.

North Dakota

The state does not have a state-wide requirement, but at least one local municipality, Fargo, does.


The Oklahoma City council voted in a special meeting in July to pass an emergency public safety ordinance that requires face covering in enclosed public places throughout Oklahoma City.

South Carolina

Several counties and cities, including Charleston and Columbia, have mask mandates.

South Dakota

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 enforce a mask requirement.

"As I said before, if people want to wear a mask, they must be free to do so," he wrote.

"Similarly, those who do not want to wear a mask should not be ashamed to wear one."

South Dakota ranks second, only after North Dakota, in the highest 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 requirements.


Although there is no state mandate, Laramie County, home to the capital city Cheyenne, has a mask requirement that went into effect on November 1.

However, according to CNN affiliate KGWN, the county district attorney's office has said violations of the mandate will not be prosecuted.


: How Biden plans to change the US response to the pandemic

Masks are not a political statement, says Biden

In a speech Monday, Biden implored Americans to stop politicizing masks and social distancing.

"Please, I implore you, wear a mask," said the president-elect.

Do it for yourself, do it for your neighbor.

A mask is not a political statement, but it is a way to begin to unite the country.

During the campaign, Biden spoke of his plan to issue a mask mandate nationwide.

However, doing so could be challenged in court, and in October Biden said he would go to all governors and urge them to issue mask mandates.

"And if they refuse, I will go to the mayors and county executives to establish local requirements for universal use of masks across the country," he said.

Because the virus is transmitted primarily through the air, masks are the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19 from person to person, studies have shown.

“Wearing face masks in public is the most effective means of preventing human-to-human transmission, and this inexpensive practice, along with simultaneous social distancing, quarantine and contact tracing, represents the most likely fighting opportunity to stop the pandemic of covid-19 prior to the development of a vaccine, ”researchers from Texas and California wrote in June.

CNN's Sarah Mucha contributed to this report.

Joe Bidenmasks

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2020-11-10

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